The COVID-19 has brought much of the world to a standstill and Sierra Leone is no exception. President Julius Maada Bio confirmed the country´s first case on 31st of March and declared a three day lockdown. Entries into the country was restricted and religious gatherings was prohibited. Since then additional control measures have been in place such as nightly curfews and restrictions on inter-district travel. With the 2014-2015 Ebola epidemic still fresh in the collective memory, the country has been getting ready for another potentially deadly outbreak. Currently 307 cases has been confirmed and 18 deaths recorded.
Needless to say this has had a big impact on CapaCare´s activities and the Surgical Training Program. The planned intake of students in spring of 2020 has been postponed since some of the basic courses are reliant on international trainers. Our local organization are making their best efforts to support our partner hospitals and enrolled students with supervision, but it has proved challenging due to the inter-district travel restrictions. There is much anxiety among the population and hospital staff and much is yet unknown about how the COVID-19 pandemic will impact Sub-Saharan Africa. The climate and young population might have a positive effect on the spread and severity of the disease within Sierra Leone. On the other hand, consequences of interactions with other diseases such as HIV, tuberculosis and malnutrition remains to be seen.
On a positive note, we are proud to announce that on Friday 3rd of April, five of our students passed their final exams and are ready to proceed with their housemanships. A great achievement for our trainees and another small step towards making surgical and obstetric care available to all Sierra Leoneans. Congratulations everyone!
STP-students Ishaka Konneh, Hassan Kanu, Augustine M. Amara, Unisa Kanu and Fasalie Koroma with Coordinato Samuel Matthew Sankoh and Dr Erik Wehrens after completing their final exams.