REBUILDING A STRONGER HEALTH SYSTEM
Overview: In December 2015, UNICEF/EU commenced a 7.2 million project to construct and rehabilitate 23 district hospitals, peripheral health units and medical stores. The work focuses on rehabilitating and expanding maternity and pediatric wards, as well as constructing and rehabilitating staff quarters and medical stores. All facilities will have a full package of water, sanitation and hygiene facilities, and most sites will be equipped with solar power.
“Now we have brought the Ebola outbreak to an end in Sierra Leone, we need to start rebuilding a stronger health system,” said Dr Abu Bakarr Fofanah. “We welcome the support given by the European Union through UNICEF that will boost basic services across the country and particularly help tackle under-5 deaths and maternal mortality.”
In January 2017, UNICEF Sierra Leone commissioned Namuh to work on a story about the rehabilitation project.
Goal: The Konsho CHP (Community Health Post) serves about 3,000 people from 13 villages. Between January and November 2016, staff at the facility have provided services to 113 pregnant women and 1,760 children under the age of five, and delivered 73 babies. Because of the EU support (rehabilitation of old clinic and construction of new maternity building, a reasonably big staff quarters with outside kitchen, outside toilet and bathroom block, incinerator, generator room and isolation unit), the facility will now be upgraded to a community health center and should serve more people and provide improved services. Zainab Titi Sawaneh, a healthcare worker at Konsho CHP, says, “ The time I came to this centre, the labour ward was not in good condition. There was no delivery bed.” Since the improvements have been made at the facility, she says, " I have more zeal to do my work. "
Our objective was to focus on a smaller community to show the large impact it had on the community as well as the health workers. This way, it would also be more personalized.
We would use text slides to show how the overall project was affecting the country.
Challenges: The UNICEF staff had traveled to the Konsho CHP to meet with staff prior to our visit. They were able to identify potential healthcare workers to feature in the film but not able to meet with pregnant women in their third trimester. Our hope was to film a birth at the facility. While we were staying in Konsho, we found out a woman had given birth in the nighttime. However, since there were only a few health workers and there were complications with the birth, they were not able to let us know. We did film the woman and her child afterwords and were able to interweave this with a story about a woman who was about ready to give birth.
Subject: Zainab Titi Sawaneh
Location: Konsho, Sierra Leone