The country of Sierra Leone tells a story of chronic suffering. Between the cholera outbreak of 2012, the Ebola crisis that followed, and a catastrophic mudslide in the capital of Freetown, the people of Sierra Leone have struggled just to survive.
In a country where more than 60% of the population live on less than $1.25 a day, medical treatment is a luxury that is simply out of reach for most.
The majority of rural communities have no healthcare centers, and unclean water sources leave many people susceptible to communicable diseases. According to Patrick Kamara, president of Safe Water for Sierra Leone and long-standing partner of MAP, some villagers will walk more than 10 miles to find clinics to treat their children.
On his latest visit to Sierra Leone, Patrick was performing health screenings in the village of Garagrawa when he met 11-year-old Joseph Konteh.
There is no healthcare center in Garagrawa, and the closest clinic is located 16 miles away. Patrick knew he was Joseph’s only chance at getting help.
Joseph was feverish, achy, and had a cough. He also had injuries all over his body due to daily falls from uncontrolled seizures. Joseph’s mother had died from the Ebola virus in 2014, and his father was out of the picture. The only way he was able to reach the mission team was by getting taken by his 68-year-old grandmother, who does her best to care for him.
While Patrick and his team couldn’t provide treatment for his seizures, as they had no physician traveling with them, they were able to treat his cold symptoms with medicine they had brought from MAP International.
The next morning, one of the villagers reached out to Patrick to share that Joseph was already feeling better and was able to go back to school.
“Many thanks to MAP International for helping us help others,” Patrick said.