2011 – March

Dear Friends and Supporters,
Again we are happy to report a very successful trip to Sierra Leone. We had a TREMENDOUS group of Volunteers this time that were extremely helpful in growing our program. Wade and Sarita Robinson of West Virginia came and brought in excess of 50 water filters for the women we operated on to take back to their villages for use. The filters they brought are very user friendly and will help prevent one of the most deadly causes of infant morbidity and mortality, Typhoid Fever along with other water borne illnesses.
Patty Hoskin from Buxton England, a nurse, health educator, tutor and lecturer was very instrumental in many areas of the program. Patty interviewed, counseled and interacted with all of the patients but has become very involved in Skills Training of the patients. She has taken on a project that she will be introducing in the near future that we think will  benefit the patients and the program.
Last but not least was Dr. Alexandra Rogers a 4th year Resident in Urology from the Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, Florida. Dr. Rogers was extremely helpful in the day to day surgeries, rounds and has the energy of the Booster Rockets of the Discovery. It was extremely gratifying to see a young up and coming physician/surgeon get involved in Humanitarian work. Hopefully this will be the first of her trips to Sierra Leone. Behind every good lady is a strong man, Alex’s husband Shawn Graft has been a God send to this program as I call him the Bill Gates or Steve Jobs of WAFF. Shawn spent countless hours in helping train the Administrative staff of WAFF in Computer skills, fixing and updating computers, removing his type of viruses that attack the computers plus taking  numerous outstanding pictures including surgical procedures to enhance the program. He has facilitated putting all of our patient charts on the computer. They took 2 weeks of their vacation time to come help the people of Sierra Leone.
As I have reported on almost every trip we continue to see very advanced Cervical Cancer in many of the patients that think they have Obstetrical Fistula because their symptoms are sometimes identical to the Obstetrical Fistula patients. 
We continue to see many obstetrical fistulas and hear the same story of how these women have been in labor for days and days. We have many patients that walked through the doors of our ward with towels between their legs holding the urine and/or feces from dripping down their legs walking out of those doors dry without those towels and a smile on their face. 
I omitted one case from our last visit which was a lady in excess of 65 y/o that had a fistula for over 40 years. The day after her surgery she reached down and touched her bed and for the first time in 40 plus years  said “Oh! my bed is dry”.
We have so much more to do and still have the dream to build the Charity Hospital of West Africa 4 miles east of Bo so the people of Sierra Leone will have what we so take for granted in the United States of America an opportunity for a normal life.
Helen Weld, one of our first volunteers with WAFF and a lady very dedicated and instrumental in our move to Bo 3 years ago likes to remind us of the quote:

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed citizens can change the world —– indeed it is the only thing that ever has”.

Thanks again to all that support us in your own way.
Darius R. Maggi M.D.
P.S.  We are now on Facebook as West Africa Fistula Foundation!
Find Us On Facebook!Stay tuned…..We are currently working on updating our website:


WAFF Staff

Several of our dedicated team members.

WAFF Patients
Women at the ward awaiting treatment.


Water of Life

Bucket filtration system project:  Two of our volunteers, Wade and Sarita Robinson (West Virginia, USA), brought water filters and distributed them to our patients.  Wade and Sarita sourced the buckets locally and drilled, sanded and assembled 50+ of these bucket purification systems.   They also traveled by boat to several remote villages to deliver these water filters and share their knowledge of water filtration.


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