Again, I greet you warmly and thank you for the valuable support you are providing our missionary activities here in Sierra Leone.
In this new year our Diocese has already experienced several high points and several low points and we thank the merciful God for His care and provision.
In my last blog, I wished to report more than I did, but time and electricity are scarce resources here in Freetown, but I feel compelled to write again to share with you another tragedy.
Today a little boy died (3 – 4 years old, not the child pictured with Vass but one of our other loved ones) . He was a young resident on our St. Moses Compound for the Disabled. Death is all too common occurrence in my part of the world, and mostly caused because of the lack of personal and community hygiene.
The PK4A-AU medical team saw first hand the lack of basic health facilities that we deal with, food hygiene, water hygiene, just everyday basic hygiene, that to the westerner is as basic as breathing, but here in my world (Africa) 6000 children die every day because they lack the knowledge of basic hygiene.
We have a medical clinic on the compound and last month with the help of the PK4A medical team, it opened with a very experienced nurse (employed by PK4A-SL); however while we have ample first aid supplies we have very little medicine to combat basic medical needs.
It’s is heartbreaking to be powerless to stop such a senseless death, I will never get use to it.
What we need now are nurses; volunteer nurses to come over and conduct up to date hygiene and nursing methods and local nurses who will nurse and teach to the people basic health and well being practices.
Hopefully soon, sponsors in Greece will finalize their decision to establish a Nursing College creating nurses of the future and a prosthesis foot clinic which would offer a custom made prosthetic leg for free to victims of leg amputations (whether through war, sickness or accident).
This region of Africa, especially Sierra Leone and our neighbours Liberia and Ivory Coast have suffered intensely from catastrophic civil wars in recent times. Thousands have been left without a leg or an arm. Our clinic will be the only one in the region trying to provide this much needed service. Indeed we are negotiating with a similar clinic in Nairobi, Kenya to send a nurse from here to train in Nairobi. When the nurse returns to Freetown he will train others in the skills of the Jaipur system of prosthesis assembling and fitting.
Our tertiary college (Orthodox Christian College of West Africa) is a centre of higher learning. As seen in the photos of my last report, we have started operations which will build up to four departments – teacher traing, journalism and media studies and computer studies). As soon as all facilities are up (with God’s grace) then we will add a department of nurse traing with an emphasis on orthopedic medicine.
Presently, due to a world wide economic downturn we are suffering from a drop in dominations especially from Europe (Greece). Of course we are not the only ones. A recent report stated that Greece’s international donations have dropped by over 30% (which is understandable given the current crisis in Greece). We pray that Greece will soon see better days.
In the meantime I am appealing to our friends in Australia and America to assist us. Our current situation is perhaps the worst that I can remember in the four years of our Mission’s existence here in Sierra Leone.
I must take this opportunity to appeal for someone to your generosity again to allow us to obtain a full range of medicine for our clinic and extra funds to employ another two nurses, one to join our existing nurse at Waterloo and another to establish a school Infirmary.
With money for medicines and wages for nurses, we can combat this hygiene issue and stop senseless deaths over the lack of hygiene.
With a budget of $1000 a month the mission can employ the two new nurses, training them and supply the clinic and infirmary with some of the necessary medicines to help.
I know with the help of God and our friends abroad that things will change soon for the better.
May you and your families have a blessed Holy Week and a most joyous Easter through the power of the Crucified yet Risen Christ!
Respectfully in Christ