Another full day in Bo with my colleagues Tim Johnson, Peter Demko, and our Zion Ministries partners. Our day started off by attending a 3 hour church service at Pastor Kanu’s church. Though this is a country of great poverty it is rich in its spiritual Muslim and Christian traditions. The congregation extended us, as they always have over the years, a warm welcome filled with music and singing. Later in the day we turned our attention to the medication needs of our rural medical clinic. In the past, the Sierra Leonian government served as a primary supplier of medication for those we serve but due to the declining value of their currency and other hardships caused by the global Covid pandemic, the supply of medications has been reduced to a trickle.
Prior to traveling to Sierra Leone, I began discussions with a colleague at Seven Hills whose family owns a private pharmacy in Bo who thought they could assume the role of our principle supplier of clinic medications. We met with the MarMed Pharmaceutical Co this afternoon and hopefully finalized an agreement with our Bandawa clinic.
In the developed world obtaining medications for clinics is a rather simple process involving placing orders with any number of retail or wholesale suppliers. However, in under resourced countries obtaining potent drugs is a hit or miss proposition. My hope is that the agreement we reached today will provide us (and the thousands of women and children we serve in our clinic) a safe and reliable source of drugs needed by our patients.
We ended today with a meeting Tim Johnson and I attended with the new Drs Jordan Community Library oversight committee to plan the future of this new facility. All were in agreement that this new facility will serve as the most modern and technologically advanced community library within the entirety of the country and as such our stands of operation must be highly maintained.
Tomorrow we head back into the bush and jungle, trekking to 6 villages—all in need of clean water and a school building which would operate under the aegis of our Bandawa campus school.
The challenge is in the distance children must walk from this cluster of villages to our campu—along with the dangers they may encounter along the way. Even with the hardship of hours of to and from walking through the jungle children desperately want an education.
Earlier in the week one village chiefs asked if I would come and see for myself the concerns they have in letting their children migrate rushing rivers and potential dangers such as snakes along the way. And so - with Edmond ,our chief health officer, serving as our guide Tim, Peter and I will see for ourselves and if warranted I will try to find donors willing to fund the approximate $15,000 necessary to build a new rural school for children.
Our time here is moving quickly as we attempt to pack in as much work as we can prior to our departure back to the capital of Freetown on Wednesday morning. Thank you for following us on our SHGO.org blog and feel free to write me at email@example.com with any questions or comments about our work here in Sierra Leone or any of the other countries where we maintain health, education , or economic development partnerships. More to post tomorrow from the bush.
Dr David A Jordan