Rotarians from Freetown together with their counterparts in the UK have teamed up to help women in need of a specialized surgery following complications during childbirth.
As part of the programme, the minister of Health Dr Saccoh Kabia will pay a visit today to the Aberdeen West African Fistula Centre.
The minister’s visit is to formally see the Fistula Centre and to thank local Rotarians for their service to community through their contributions to the work of the Fistula Centre.
According to the country director Mercy Ships Sierra Leone and member of the Rotary club of Freetown, Rene Lako, “we have had tremendous support from Rotary over the last few years and this latest donation, spearheaded by the Bathgate Rotary Club is fantastic news for the scores of women who will benefit directly.”
He added that, “the Rotary club of Freetown also has a long standing relationship with Mercy Ships and is the host club for the implementation of the Rotary International matching grant. Rotary clubs across Great Britain and Ireland have been involved with Mercy Ships since 2006 when the organisation chose to make the charity its international fundraising partner that year.”
It reveals in a release that through a variety of fundraisers and a matching grant from the Rotary Foundation in the USA, Bathgate UK Rotary club has raised enough money to provide up to 50 VVF (Vesico-vaginal fistula) surgeries for women at the Aberdeen West African Fistula Centre run by the international charity Mercy Ships.
“These surgeries will enable the women to lead normal lives again as many are outcast from their families and communities due to the complexities of incontinence following obstructed labour.”
Since then, 13 teams of Rotarians from across the UK have visited the Fistula Centre and helped to build an extension to the facility, called the Hostel of Hope. Teams of Rotarians also improved existing facilities at the Fistula Centre by providing extra underground water storage tanks and added improvements to the recently constructed hostel.
Additionally, funds were raised to build two classrooms at the nearby Aberdeen Municipal School.
Alex Campbell of the Rotary Club of Bathgate, said: “we are delighted to be able to help the women and children of Sierra Leone. We have been working with Mercy Ships for a number of years now and the work that they do at the Fistula Centre is amazing. These surgeries really do give the women their lives back. Our fundraising has been supported by many others in our community including four local schools and we couldn’t have done it without them.”