Education is fundamental to progress and sustainability
Healthcare education is fundamental to the Masanga project. We believe we can make the fastest and most effective impact on the development of improved healthcare provision in Sierra Leone by educating local Sierra Leoneans to become qualified healthcare professionals to address the severe shortage of qualified personnel following the civil war.
The 100 bed Masanga hospital is the foundation for our healthcare education programme. The strong links with hospitals and medical schools in Europe such as Trondheim University in Norway, the Dutch Tropical medicine programme, the Derriford Hospital and the Plymouth University Peninsula School of Medicine and Dentistry in the UK provide the expertise necessary to support the programme.
The healthcare education programme has three pillars:
- The Nursing Aid School
- The Tonkolili College of Health Sciences and Technology
- The Surgical Training Programme
The Nursing Aid School
The Nursing Aid School was opened on the campus of Masanga Hospital in 2008. The school typically takes 25 students from the Masanga area and 15 students from Yoni Bana supported by the Better Life Foundation. The 9 month training course consists of an entrance exam, the introductory phase, three practical modules and theoretical training.
On 17 October 2012 the latest graduation ceremony was held to celebrate the graduation of all 40 students. The majority of the nursing aids graduating from the Masanga area are now employed in the hospital.
Students are charged fees to attend the school which is a not for profit enterprise.
Listen to the interview with the Nursing School Admin Assistant Alpha Sesay
The Tonkolili College of Health Sciences and Technology
With great excitement and following considerable efforts to obtain all the necessary authorisations from local and central government, the Tonkolili College of Health Sciences and Technology was opened in 2012.
The main focus of the College initially will be a three year State Registered Nursing qualification. The first 50 students have just completed their first year and the second batch of students have been selected for the new college year.
The fees for the course are highly competitive because the College has been set up with low costs and the location of Masanga has a low cost of living. It is a not for profit enterprise which in time will be self funding when the full three years of students will cover the set up and overhead costs. In the short term the most pressing funding need is to raise €30,000 to €60,000 to cover two phases of construction/renovation costs for suitable accommodation for the student nurses.
The Surgical Training Programme (“STP”)
The STP is a programme run by Capacare.
CapaCare have in collaboration with the Sierra Leonean Ministry of Health and Sanitation (MOHS) started a postgraduate surgical training program (STP) for Medical Doctors and Community Health Officers (“CHO”).
The program entails training Doctors and CHO’s for 2 years in basic surgical and obstetrical procedures through exposing them to expatriate surgical teams at several hospitals in Sierra Leone. These teams will consist of a general surgeon/ orthopaedic surgeon/gynaecologist, an anaesthetist and nurse. They will stay in Sierra Leone for periods of 3-6 weeks working with the trainees appointed to the training program. The plan is to have 6 rotating teams every year. In between the rotations, doctors permanently working at the hospitals will do follow up training of the candidates.
All candidates are initially trained for 6 months at Masanga hospital, after which they are posted to other NGO training hospitals on 6 months rotations. The candidates will return to Masanga Hospital on regular occasions for various workshops.
The curriculum for the training is taken from the WHO Integrated Management for Emergency & Essential Surgical Care toolkit, developed by the Clinical Procedures Unit in collaboration with the Global Initiative for Emergency and Essential Surgical Care program.
For more information on the STP please contact Dr Hakon Bolkan at email@example.com.