We again had a very successful trip to Sierra Leone and have a lot of good things that are happening.
First of all I want to tell you about a young Doctor that contacted me several months ago and became very interested in helping the “Poorest of the Poor”. Dr. Susan Hardwick-Smith of Houston Texas and head of a very large Women’s Group of Ob-Gyns decided to go to Africa with me but not only did she go but before she went she trained several months for the “Iron-Man” and dedicated all of the proceeds and donations in excess of $31,000 for the Women of Sierra Leone. Dr. Susan was hooked after she went to Sierra Leone and has graciously accepted to be on West Africa Fistula Foundation’s Board. We are very privileged to have someone of her stature to be joining our organization.
There continues to be a lot of good news in that the number of Fistulas is definitely declining in Sierra Leone but there is still so much that needs to be done because of the true lack of medical care in the Country. We continue to do many surgeries and care of patients in need and without your support this would be impossible to accomplish. When these patients go home dry or we are able to save a life we thank God for allowing us to do his work.
We have decided to not move to the Holy Mary Hospital and feel we are called to start the first phase of the Medical Center of Excellence that we have dreamed. We have several volunteer architects, engineers and other wonderful people all coming together to make this Center in Bo, Sierra Leone a true referral center for all of West Africa.
We continue to network with many different organizations so we can share knowledge and use this synergism to be more efficient. This last trip Dr. Gary Gilkeson and Dr. Tasha Ruth from Medical University South Carolina brought their team of people and are doing research on Lupus. Willa Finley from Lubbock Texas with Africa Business Jubilee visited our place in Bo and brought with her Elizabeth, a colleague that resides and works in Ghana with her.
Paul and Andrea Robinson of England have been made life much easier in administration and physical facilities management and have added invaluable experience to WAFF through their dedication and hard work.
Dr. Mannah has been showing improvement since his very unfortunate auto accident where 12 people were killed and is extremely helpful in the care of the patients. Our staff is truly dedicated and they do a wonderful job taking care of the patients.
We will keep you updated as we progress and with this transition to another facility over the next 12-18 months and are very excited about what can be accomplished.
Darius R. Maggi M.D. West Africa Fistula Foundation