Wednesday 9th of November 2022
I hope you had a restful and rejuvenating holiday season.
For most people, good execution is achieved through learning and practice. For Devoted Skies, we learn through the execution of our healthcare access projects. As a group of passionate volunteers and professionals, we believe in the mission of equitable healthcare. This, however, does not happen without intense planning, and it took all our efforts to make 2022 a very successful year, thanks to you, our supporters, and donors.
We departed New York on Friday December 9th, for our medical mission to Freetown, Sierra Leone. Freetown is a beautiful city with natural landscapes, architecture, and infrastructure. The hills and the natural harbor through the city made the views scenic and priceless. However, the inner city and rural towns are not as well resourced, which is why our objective to conduct the medical mission 4 hours north of Freetown in Kabala was so important . On our drive out early the next morning, we made multiple stops at community clinics and maternity centers handing our diapers, blankets, and first aid medical supplies. We also engaged in a wellness program educating children and youths on the importance of nutrition and wellness. Our program in the main hospital in Kabala began the next day, after a restful night at a nearby humanitarian hostel.
Through this medical mission, I’ve come to learn a few things. You can never bring enough help to the neediest parts of the world. We had some patients wanting to share their medical issues in the open field because they finally saw a glimpse of hope with our arrival. Just acknowledgement of their existence coming from far away was enough and encouraging them to see a proper healthcare professional was welcomed. We had dialogues with community leaders and politician to help bridge the gap in care delivery.
One of the exchanges was with another nonprofit leader who came from the US to perform surgeries. We shared with him our goals while in Sierra Leone, including donating medical supplies and contributing to the bucket program to support communities with essential items to decrease maternal and neonatal infections for at home deliveries. This leader was concerned that our mission would be discouraging these expectant mothers from coming to a “real hospital” and incentivizing home births instead. Our team patiently listened to these concerns, knowing full well that our efforts serve the exact opposite and bring positive impact to these communities. The plight of these expectant mothers is that they disengage from modern healthcare consumption given the challenges that they expect to face: a bus ride followed by an hour-long bike ride to wait for care, only to potentially be rescheduled when the needed supplies are unavailable is a stark reality. Not by choice, but these mothers resolve to homebirths and other methods to manage their medical conditions.
This is what Devoted Skies is all about: bridging the gap of health inequities to underserved communities. Sincere gratitude again to the Mama Pikin Foundation for their support in executing this program.
We look forward to seeing you soon…
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Founder, Devoted Skies