New blog post on healthcare in Sierra Leone up: http://wp.me/p36xri-ds
Thanks to the latest CBS “60 Minutes,” American viewers witnessed the journey that brought Mariata and Sufiatu, two young girls suffering a deadly heart condition, from Sierra Leone to Sudan where they were treated at the Salaam Center, the only state-of-the-art facility that provides free cardiac surgery in Africa, run by EMERGENCY.
While the Salaam Center is the only facility to offer such special cardiac surgery care in the entire continent, EMERGENCY is also very active in Sierra Leone, among other countries, where we provide surgical and pediatric care and preventative medicine.
In 2001, when a bloody civil war that killed more than 50,000 people and forced many more to flee the country was coming to an end, EMERGENCY began a program for war victims in Goderich, a village near Freetown. Today that program has expanded to also include a Pediatric Outpatient Department kids are treated mainly for malaria, anemia and respiratory infections.
To learn more about the status of healthcare in Sierra Leone, we invite you to join us for an online chat with Sierra Leone former Information & Broadcasting Minister Cecile Blake, TV personality Nzinga Blake, and EMERGENCY USA Executive Director Eric Talbert on Thursday May 20, 2014 at 10 AM PT/1 PM ET. RSVP here to participate and send us questions via Facebook and Twitter.
In November of 2013, “NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams” reported the story of Obaid, a young Afghan boy who lost both his legs when a mortar hit his house, and was rushed to one of EMERGENCY’s hospital in Afghanistan to be promptly treated by our staff.
While the stories covered by NBC Foreign Chief Correspondent Richard Engel in that first piece seemed only stories of despair, Obaid’s story has since then become of hope, human kindness, and strength in the face of adversity.
In fact on that November night, Cindy Barrett, a regular “NBC Nightly News” viewer, saw the report and decided to take action to make a difference. “I had a very emotional response to it. And I think in part I connected with this boy because I have young grandsons and my grandchildren are healthy and strong and athletic,” Barrett said about her feelings while watching the report. “They’re growing up in a relatively safe and privileged environment and we have some of the best medical care available to us here. And the contrast was just too much for me to ignore, to see this child.”
Thanks to Ms. Barrett’s donation, Obaid has now prosthetic legs and is attending one of the most prestigious schools in Kabul. Despite his injury he looks healthy and full of life and has revealed that he would like to become a heart surgeon when he grows up. We’re all very proud of Obaid and thankful to Ms. Barrett’s, who has made a huge difference in this kid’s life.
Even tough we see much horror in our EMERGENCY hospitals, our mission is to provide hope against this horror and save war-victims’ lives and limbs. We hope you can help us continue pursuing our mission by considering to make a donation here.
You can check out “NBC Nightly New”s full story about Obaid and Cindy Barrett here.