We have just returned from our January 2012 trip to Holy Spirit Hospital in Makeni and One World Women’s Health would like to THANK YOU for all of your support, kind wishes, and generous donations which helped make this latest mission an overwhelming success. This trip we had a superb team, each member making a significant contribution towards reaching our goal to improve the health and well- being of the women of Sierra Leone.
The gyn surgical team of Dr. Michael Karoly, Dr. Nina Seigelstein, and Danielle Yoos, scrub technician, all from Riverview Medical Center in Red Bank, New Jersey braved the difficult working conditions together and performed 22 life altering major gynecologic surgeries from repairing severe uterine prolapse and pelvic relaxation, performing perineal reconstruction, to removing fibroid tumors and other pelvic masses. All of the surgical supplies used for these operations were generously donated by Riverview Medical Center and were transported by our team into Sierra Leone. We also fit women not desiring prolapse or incontinence surgery with some of the 95 pessaries donated from Cooper Surgical, as well as teaching the Holy Spirit staff how to do this on their own.
Inger Nielsen, Danish midwife from Wellesley, MA helped to build a relationship between OWWH and the nearby Midwifery School of Makeni, which will be graduating its first class of 69 Midwives this February. This Midwifery School will play a large role in staffing our Maternity Ward with well- educated midwives. Inger gave a well- received lecture to the students, presented them and taught them how to utilize the 35 Bakri Postpartum Hemorrhage Balloons donated by Cook Medical, and visited a rural Community Health Post where pre and postnatal care and teaching were administered to a group of enthusiastic village women.
Janine Karoly of New Jersey served as our photojournalist, documenting the positive impact of our work on the lives of our patients, interviewing some of the special people in Sierra Leone involved with our project, and providing her own perceptive insights via her blog which was featured on Patch.com.
We plan to break ground on the construction of the first phase of the OWWH Maternity Ward at Holy Spirit Hospital sometime this spring. With the building of the Maternity Ward, the addition of newly educated midwives, the community outreach, and the passionate commitment of Dr. Patrick Turay of Holy Spirit Hospital and Tom Johnson of Africa Surgery, Inc., our dream to improve the healthcare of Sierra Leonean women is becoming a reality.