The English Team

Partnership in Healthcare, Healthcare education and Research

Derriford Hospital and the Plymouth University Peninsula School of Medicine and Dentistry (“PUPSMD”) have joined Masanga Hospital and our partners in Denmark, Holland and Norway in a long term Partnership for provision of healthcare, healthcare education and research in the post conflict zone of Sierra Leone, West Africa.

The Team from the UK

The team from the UK joined the Masanga project in 2008 and so far over 35 doctors, nurses and medical students from Derriford Hospital and PUPSMD in Devon have donated their time and expertise working alongside the local staff at Masanga hospital.

The trustees of Masanga UK are Dr Austin (“Oz”) Hunt (Chairman), Professor Nigel (Ben) Benjamin, Lt Colonel Simon Horne, Helen McMillan (ICU nurse), Mike Green (Treasurer), Dawn Holwill (Admin) and Geoff Eaton (member of the international board of Masanga). Resumes of the Trustees and Officers of Masanga UK can be found by clicking here Masanga UK Trustee Board.

Many others have made significant contributions to the project such as Dr Sarah Patching (co-founder), Dr Chris Foster, Deborah Southon (co-founder and fundraiser) and Dr Adrian Copplestone (Vice Chairman of the Medical School).  The team of supporters is growing.

Prof Ben and Dr Oz first visit 2009

Prof Ben and Dr Oz first visit 2009

Geoff Eaton and Dr Peter Bo 2012

Geoff Eaton and Dr Peter Bo 2012









The Grace Emergency Admissions Unit

The most significant achievement of the UK team so far has been the rehabilitation of a derelict building to create the Emergency Admissions Unit (“EAU”). In January 2013 the EAU was opened with a ceremony that was well attended by local dignitaries, members of the government and health departments, business representatives, volunteers and the construction team from Dawnus in South Wales who did such a great job in both building and supplying materials for the unit. The EAU is the best facility of its kind outside Freetown and has eight high dependency beds. It provides 24 hour care for the most critical patients in the hospital.

The EAU was named the Grace Emergency Unit in memory of Grace Turner.  The Grace’s Fund was set up by the family and friends of Grace and has been a very generous donor to the hospital.

Building destroyed by the rebels

Building destroyed by the rebels

The Grace Emergency Admissions Unit

The Grace Emergency Admissions Unit









The Partnership between Masanga Hospital, Derriford Hospital and the Peninsula Medical School

“The relationship with the Masanga project is integral to the philosophy of care at Derriford Hospital. It provides an excellent opportunity for local clinicians to work in a different setting and gain new skills of working with communities. Supporting Masanga is a commitment to a long term partnership, an ongoing vocation and offers a unique educational experience that is at the heart of health.” Ann James, CEO, Plymouth Hospitals NH Trust

The benefits of this long term cooperation between a hospital and medical school in the UK and a rural hospital in a remote and poor location in Africa are mutually beneficial and consequently more sustainable.

Derriford and PMS Programmes in place to support the project

In addition to the generous donation of time by individuals, Doctors can opt to spend three months at Masanga on an Out Of Programme Experience. Senior Registrar Dr Adam Forrest, recently completed a placement in Masanga, part funded by our partners in Norway, Capacare, in support of the Surgical Training Programme (“STP”) using his expertise in gynaecological surgery. See his report at Dr Adam Forrest -Out of Programme Experience Report (OOPE ). Surgeon Lt Commander Dave Potter, emergency registrar, is spending his honeymoon working for 6 months in Masanga with his wife Joanne, a physiotherapist having both driven a Land cruiser from Devon to donate to the hospital.

Dr Dave Connor, an Anaesthetic Registrar spent one month on a Masanga Fellowship, also funded by Capacare, providing vital training to the students on the STP.

Dr Doug Watts and Dr Louise Wade from the MSc in Remote Medicine played a central role as project managers and initiating

Dr Doug and Dr Oz plan the EAU

Dr Oz and Dr Doug plan the EAU

clinical services in the Emergency Admissions Unit. See their trip reports at Dr Doug Watts – Remote Medicine MSc Project Manager Phase 2 Report and Dr Louise Wade-Remote Medicine MSc Project manager Phase 2 report

Research projects

In 2012 Masanga hosted a Gates funded research project which included a trial of an innovative malaria biosensor.  This is a multi centre study with other research hospitals in Kenya and Cambodia. The project demonstrates that the collaboration of European Teaching hospitals and District hospitals in developing countries will be increasingly important with Global Health being high on the agenda for all medical schools. See medical student Ciaran Doherty’s elective presentation at Ciaran Doherty – Medical Student Elective Presentation(Gates Funded Malarial Biosensor).

In 2011 research by students from PMS was undertaken to explore the prevalence of Buruli Ulcers in the Masanga District.

The Mountain Marathon

The Original Mountain Marathon is an annual adventure race held in the UK. Teams have competed for three years and raised

Masanga OMM runners looking tired

Masanga OMM runners looking tired

£60,000 for Masanga. Like the Masanga project the event is tough, requires huge reserves of resilience and endurance but is wonderfully rewarding given the generous support of donors.

Running in the mountains with full pack over two days at the end of October in unpredictable and often poor weather conditions.

Teams wishing to participate in the event to raise money for Masanga should register through