June 7, 2023

A doctor in sierra leone

A doctor in sierra leone

Dr. Jurgen grobel from pretzfeld gave a lecture in the rooms of the weltladen forchheim in cooperation with the catholic education center "help for self-help – the german doctors in sierra leone" held. There, in one of the poorest countries on earth, he worked in a hospital for the "german doctors".

Doctors have been involved in this organization for 35 years. They are currently active in five countries of operation. Seven projects were supported and further expanded in 2017.

As an NGO (non-governmental organization), the "german doctors" are reliant on a project partner, in this case the catholic church. Dr. Grobel set off from the capital, freetown, to serabu, his place of work in the mission hospital there.

Days away from the hospital

Sick people often have to walk or be carried for days until they reach the hospital. Accident victims are simply deposited in front of the hospital door with the words: "go ahead." There is no emergency doctor, sanitation or ambulance in sierra leone. Street lights are non-existent, so it is dangerous to drive at night.

The poverty of the people there is unimaginable for us. There are only a few trained doctors, and it is not possible to complete a full course of medical studies in sierra leone. Therefore, one focus of the mission is the training of the local specialists with the aim to train them to independently run a department of the clinic. They become community health officers trained to work independently in the medical field after about two years. "Helping people to help themselves is the motto of the organization.

In the hospital, a german specialist from the fields of general medicine, obstetrics, pediatrics and surgery works together with the staff on site for six weeks at a time and trains them. Local staff travel to surrounding villages to provide health education and hygiene training. Thus, the main areas of work are obstetrics, the treatment of infections, surgical emergencies and, increasingly, chronic internal diseases. Since there is no health insurance, many people are not able to pay for a stay in hospital. This is then done with the donations of the "german doctors" or in part or partly financed by operations of wealthier patients. Preventive examinations for pregnant women, obstetrics and the treatment of children are generally free of charge.

The audience was shocked to hear that dr. Grobel learned about the archaic structures that still prevail there, in which handicapped children are abandoned in the bush because the family does not have the money to feed them or even to have them treated.

Also the topic "female circumcision" he said. This is still being done for traditional reasons. A consequence of this is that the women often have very difficult births and often can only deliver by cesarean section. Maternal and infant mortality is extremely high. Dr. Grobel also told of a major request for serabu, namely the equipment of a second operating room, especially with proper lamps and an air conditioner. "In germany they operate in fully air-conditioned rooms, in serabu often at 35 degrees. Sometimes the water stands in your operating boots", he said.

Who are the "german doctors"? If you would like to support serabu in this matter, you can do so under the following account number: keyword "operating room in serabu", bank for social economy, IBAN DE26 5502 0500 4000 8000 20. Gisela schmitt


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