Sorie Samura works with a nurse. Photo: KSLP
Sorie Samura and a nurse at a health unit in Sierra Leone. Photo: KSLP
I began volunteering with the King’s Sierra Leone Partnership (KSLP) team at its Connaught Hospital Ebola holding unit in August 2014. I helped screen, isolate, and treat people with suspected and confirmed Ebola. I learned a lot from my colleagues, who mentored me and helped me develop clinical skills. I later moved to the isolation unit, and in January 2016 I moved to the infectious disease unit.
In April 2017, I officially joined KSLP as a referral coordinator in charge of referrals from peripheral health units and district hospitals across the country to Connaught Hospital for all Ebola survivors requiring tertiary care. It is my job to ensure that all who come to our hospital receive free high-quality health care through the Comprehensive Program for Ebola Survivors (CPES) and the Government Free Health Care Initiative. Now that survivors’ immediate health care needs have been met through the referral process, JSI and KSLP are supporting the Ministry of Health and Sanitation (MOHS) to implement the referral coordinator system in all district, regional, and tertiary hospitals to meet the long-term health care needs of Ebola survivors and other vulnerable groups (such as pregnant women, lactating mothers and children under 5) under the Free Health Care Initiative.
In October 2017, I was promoted to mentor of all 17 referral coordinators across the country. I am also responsible for engaging district health management teams, hospital managers, and other MOHS staff on the need for a national referral system.
When I’m working with other KSLP volunteers and experts to strengthen the health care delivery system in my beloved country, I am always happy. With support from USAID, our current referral project has improved access to health care and coordination and service delivery for vulnerable populations. It is now my ambition to become an infectious disease doctor who focuses on research and medical laboratory services.
Advancing Partners & Communities' Ebola Transmission Prevention & Survivor Services program, with implementing partners GOAL, JSI, King’s Sierra Leone Partnership, Partners in Health, and Save the Children supports implementation of the MOHS' CPES at the national, district, and community levels in Sierra Leone. CPES provides medical and social services to Ebola survivors across the country through health system strengthening and capacity building.