Our surgical missions to Sierra Leone is the vessel through which we implement the training and equipment supply programs in supplementing the surgical care component of the healthcare sector. The surgeries are provided at no cost to the patients and are conducted primarily at Government medical centers to which majority of Sierra Leoneans go for their surgical needs. Since inception Why We Do What We Do As in most low income countries, surgical care is the forgotten component of primary healthcare and Sierra Leone is not an exemption.
The National Health Policy (2011) did not feature surgical care as a priority area even though it is estimated that up to 25 percent of deaths in Sierra Leone could be prevented with surgery. Presently there are 12 surgeons to serve the surgical needs of the approximately 7 million people of Sierra Leone and as a result it is estimated that more than 90% of the surgical needs in the country are unmet and that there is a 30 fold difference in operative output between the 16 regions of the country.
The disparity (in level of surgical care) increases as you go further and further away from the capital city and major provincial headquarter towns.The high estimate of unmet surgical needs, poor medical infrastructure, lack of human resource and the non-prioritization of surgical care policy within the healthcare sector is the reason why SLI is collaborating with the relevant stakeholders to implement simple, cost-effective surgical care to the under-served communities in Sierra Leone.