Development Cooperation Handbook/Stories/Emergency Surgical Hospital

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Sierra Leone
MDG4: Reduce child mortality

Sierra Leone 2 – production

MDG 4 Reduce child mortality

Emergency Surgical Hospital
Project implemented by Emergency
Goderich, near Freetown, Sierra Leone, December 2010
Project financed by individual contributions

Emergency Surgical Hospital

Emergency is an Italian non-governmental organisation that provides medical care to victims of war and other forms of violence.

In 2001, during the civil war in Sierra Leone, Emergency built a surgical hospital in Goderich, a village in the suburbs of Freetown.

The war in Sierra Leone is over but health care in the country is still in a state of emergency.

Emergency provides free treatment in poor countries where health care is not free. It promotes a culture of peace and respect for human rights and contrasts violence in all its forms. Its anti-war militancy sometimes put the organization in opposition with political establishments. But everybody acknowledges that its hospitals are models of commitment and equal efficient treatment for all.

Initially started as a surgical hospital, it gradually began admitting also orthopaedic patients. In 2002, Emergency built a Pediatric Outpatient Department for the treatment of malaria, anemia and respiratory infections. In 2005, the infant mortality rate in the country was the highest in the world, largely caused by easily curable diseases like malaria, diarrhoea, malnutrition and common infections.

Poverty and ignorance aggravates the incidence of malnutrition and low hygiene standards. The pediatric clinic of Emergency runs a project for health and hygiene education. Emergency has been collaborating with the University of Parma since June 2008 to test a new protein-rich food for malnourished children made with cheap and easily available ingredients.

Although staying in public hospitals does not cost, patients in Sierra Leone must pay fees for treatments, medicines, operations and doctors. This means that poor people that cannot afford treatments and other medical services are left to misery and death. Even minor problems, like fractures, can degenerate into serious and irreversible deformities. Malaria is very widespread and is one of the major causes of high mortality among children. People frequently suffer from gastrointestinal and respiratory infections while scabies and worms are prevalent among children.

Video clips


On YouTube ⇒ Emergency Hospital - playlist

Emergency Hospital - playlist

Dr. Harold Lewis - What Salone can learn from Italy and Vice-versa
Dimitra Giannakopoulo (Medical Coordinator) - What are the challanges of your job as medical coordinator of Emergency
Baldassarre Sansoni - I perche' della scelta di un primario di chirurgia di lavorare per Emergency
Baldassarre (Sandro) Sansoni (Chief Surgeon) - Quale e' l'approccio di Emergency
Baldassarre (Sandro) Sansoni - Un messaggio a chi ci sostiene

Francesco Zappa - Lavorare in Ospedale di Emergency in Sierra Leone
Francesco Zappa - La filosofia di Emergency

Ilaria Proietti - Una pediatra italiana nell'ospedale di Emergency in Sierra Leone

See also


  On YouTube ⇒ Emergency Hospital - playlist

 Emergency (NGO)
 Emergency (ONG)