ANNUAL REPORT 2015

Executive Summary

2015 was a year of recovery from Ebola which had had a negative impact on service delivery . Nevertheless, both the Thomas Street and Kissy Road clinics performed extremely well. Performance was significantly enabled by contributions, both financial and in-kind, from numerous individuals and organizations. The society is immensely grateful for that. Our activities remained client-focussed, not only for patients but also towards family and others.

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The Team

Our team in Sierra Leone remained largely intact although a member at Kissy Road was replaced because of prolonged absence outside the country due to circumstances beyond her control. The Coordinator, officers in charge at the respective centres, nursing staff, nursing aide, School Links Officer and office assistant contributed immeasurably to the success of operations. A volunteer continued to give devoted service during the year, 
Quarterly staff meetings helped to maintain cohesion throughout the year. 

Visits to the centres

Consistent with the restraints of the Ebola emergency, the numbers of clients visiting the clinics were down 21% in 2015, resulting in a cumulative total of 2,447, in contrast to 3031 in 2014. Of the 2,447visits, 178 were new.

Screening

One hundred and fifty-seven (157) of the 178 new clients underwent hemoglobin phenotype analysis at RAMSY Medical Laboratories. Out of these, 120 were demonstrated to be SS, 4 Hb SC and 33 Hb AS. All of these newly-identified cases went through genetic counseling sessions at either of the clinics and were registered accordingly.

Essential drugs

Essential drugs and medical supplies were purchased from POTTAL Pharmacy and from a new supplier, Wellness Pharma SL LTD. The medicines and supplies list include folic Acid, multivitamins, analgesics, malaria prophylaxis and therapeutics, antibiotics and surgical dressings 
A consignment of insecticide-treated mosquito bed nets was provided free of charge by the Sierra Leone Malaria Control Programme. Most were distributed on World Sickle Cell Day, June 19, and the remainder made available for new registrants who were less than five years old.

Specialized treatment Referrals  

Forty-four (44) children were referred, as necessary, to the Ola During Children’s hospital, and 354 adults to the Connaught following the re-opening of these institutions for normal business when the Ebola emergency abated in the third quarter. Forty (40) patients required in-patient treatment among whom, 33 required blood transfusions. Provision of blood for transfusion remained challenging. Case fatalities continued to be at worrying levels. 

Information Exchange

Celebration of World Sickle Cell Day (WSCD), 19th June, provided the opportunity to renew contact with the public just at the time that the Ebola epidemic was drawing down. Although celebrations were low-key, important information-sharing occasions were broadcast via radio and TV. 
Family Day, during the celebrations provided opportunity to involve families in projecting the vision of the society as well as highlighting their role in the care and management of affected family members. 
Schools outreach recommenced in the fourth quarter following the Ebola drawdown. Four schools were visited: Prince of Wales Junior Secondary school, Sierra Leone Grammar School, Freetown Secondary School for Girls and the Bishop Johnson Memorial School.

Education and research

Two final-year students from the college of Medicine and Allied Health Sciences and three final-year students from the Faculty of Nursing wrote their theses on various topics relating to sickle cell disease. Each student spent time with us, undertook chart reviews and developed questionnaires, which were directed at both staff and clients.
A paper, entitled: Sickle Cell Disease in Sierra Leone: A Neglected Problem, was published by members of the clinical team in the Ghana Medical Journal in the autumn.

Social work

Social work remains an integral part of what we do, in 2015, providing moral, spiritual, and financial support as and when necessary to patients and families. 

Conclusion

In spite of the difficulties attendant on the Ebola epidemic and financial constraints, 2015 was another good year for the vision and objective of the Sierra Leone Sickle Cell Disease Society.

Acknowledgements

We gratefully acknowledge the support of our many supporters both in Sierra Leone and elsewhere, including the following:


Anglo Sierra Leone Lodge
Dr & Mrs Sola Somolu
Dr Ahovi Kponou
Dr Akim Gibril.
Dr David Baion 
Dr Lottie Whitefield 
Dr M S Jalloh.
Dr & Mrs Olubunmi Robbin-Coker
Dr and Dr. Mrs. Alpha Wurie and staff at RAMSY Laboratories,
Dr Christine Cole, Wellness Pharma SL LTD
Dr I B Peters 
Dr Len Gordon-Harris, Diagnostic Centre at Bathurst Street. 
Dr Samuel Smith, Director, Malaria Control Programme  
Gerald Cosmo Jarrett
Manager & Staff, POTTAL Pharmacy,
Mercury International 
Methodist Central Hall, London
Mr & Mrs Nicholas Woodgates
Mr & Mrs Nobisizwe Adekayode
Mr A Abadeyi
Mr Eugene Roberts
Mr Raymond L Jarrett
Mr Basie Turay, Director of Pharmaceuticals and Medical supplies, Ministry of Health and Sanitation 
Mrs Bertha Malamah-Thomas
Mrs Bridget Ambroglio
Mrs Daphne Solomon
Mrs Doreen Mengot
Mrs Joy Richards
Mrs Margaret Jacobson
Mrs Michaela Soalla-Bell
Ms Sylvia Gilpin-Jackson
Prof & Mrs M Millgate
Rokel Commercial Bank
Sickle Cell Anemia Relief Foundation, USA
Staff at Connaught Hospital & Ola During Memorial Hospital  
The Sierra Leone Grammar School
Women’s Health Clinic
Dr Gibrilla Fadlu-Deen
Mr John Peters
Mr Charles Karefa-Smart
Mrs Tunu Tregson Roberts 
Dr George Tregson Roberts