Health and Nutrition
As World Hope International works around the world to help alleviate poverty, suffering and injustice, the majority of vulnerable communities we serve face dire situations in the areas of health and nutrition. Below, please find details on some of WHI’s Health and Nutrition programs currently in action.
To learn more about WHI’s current health and nutrition efforts, read the 2015 Health and Nutrition Annual Report.
Enable the Children
Many children in Sierra Leone are born with or acquire mental or physical disabilities in their early years of life due to the scarcity and expense of child health services. Unfortunately, due to cultural beliefs and lack of education, many of these disabled children are rejected, abandoned and considered “the devil, a snake in a human body” by their communities. To help families learn to love and properly care for their disabled children, WHI’s Enable the Children (ETC) program provides much-needed therapy and support services to over 800 children living with disabilities in Freetown, Sierra Leone. ETC helps families provide at-home care to children and works to provide specialized equipment, surgeries, training and other health and caregiving services to help improve the lives of these disabled children.
Learn more here.
West Africa Ebola Outbreak / Post-Ebola Efforts
World Hope International was instrumental in the fight to end the 2014/2015 Ebola (EVD) outbreak in Sierra Leone. WHI has been operating in Sierra Leone since 1996, fostering an expansive network of rural communities, which helped to tackle the outbreak at a local level. As one of the largest US-based NGOs working in Sierra Leone during the outbreak, WHI partnered with the Ministry of Health, CDC, UNICEF and UKAID and others to fight the disease on many fronts – from turning trucks into ambulances, to setting up isolation units, to flying a Registered Nurse from the US to Freetown to train health workers, to helping with burials and delivering food, to providing care for shunned survivors, to creating and maintaining Community Care Centers, the team on the ground worked tirelessly to fight the disease.
In November 2015, Sierra Leone was declared Ebola-free and since this time WHI has been working to provide assistance to Ebola survivors. This includes continuing to train healthcare workers on proper sanitation and infectious disease techniques to prevent another outreach. Additionally, in partnership with the Ministry of Health and Sanitation, World Health Organization, and with support from the Sierra Leone Association of Ebola Survivors Bombali, Case Management and Psychosocial Pillars from the DERC, WHI opened EVD Survivor Static and Mobile Clinics in the Bombali District of Sierra Leone, which provides acute care and ongoing management to EVD survivors.
Finally, WHI also implemented a UKAID-funded Petty Traders project that improved the economic status of 42,000 targeted petty traders in Sierra Leone who lost their business capital during the EVD crisis. The program provided necessary capital support and financial training for petty traders to resume their businesses and through this project, petty traders were supported with low interest loans and grants to help stimulate meaningful growth of small or medium scale businesses.
Learn more about World Hope International’s Ebola efforts.
Maternal and Child Health
Sierra Leone is ranked among the worst countries in the world for under-five mortality. Each year, 16 percent of Sierra Leonean children die before their fifth birthday, compared to just .7 percent in the United States. Of those 9,430 annual deaths, 19 percent occur during the first day of life.
To address these dire statistics, World Hope International, in partnership with The Children’s Prize, is implementing the Helping Babies Breathe (HBB) educational program in five districts in Sierra Leone. The program is expected to save 5,336 young lives in the country over the course of two years.
Health program specialist, Carrie Jo Cain, is currently training the HBB curriculum to over 2,000 Maternal Child Health aides and Traditional Birth Attendants to properly provide neonatal care at health facilities as well as in home and in community settings.
In addition to our HBB program, WHI has partnered with UNICEF to work with local communities in villages across Sierra Leone to form Mother’s Support Groups. These groups promote child nutrition, exclusive breastfeeding, infant and child care and health education. Specifically, mothers are empowered to initiate breastfeeding within one hour of birth, breastfeed exclusively for the first six months and continue to breastfeed for up to two years or more together with nutritionally adequate, safe, age appropriate, responsive complementary feeding starting at six months.
World Hope International and UNICEF are also currently working with this tight network of Mother’s Support Groups to help prevent the spread of Ebola. Trained and supervised Community Health Workers are conducting outreach to these mother’s groups, educating them on the signs and symptoms of the disease, including facts on its prevention and information on universal precaution to ensure infection control.
Finally, WHI, in partnership with the Ministry of Health, is also using ambulances to help transport mothers to the hospital to deliver.
Support for Hospitals
Functioning, clean and safe hospitals are vital to a country’s health advancement. Since 1996, World Hope International has been involved in numerous efforts to improve hospital conditions in the countries in which we work. From providing infrastructure developments and generators to Zimba Mission Hospital in Zambia to building and financially supporting the Wesleyan nursing school in Haiti, to financing salaries and supplies and equipment at Kamakwie Wesleyan Hospital in Sierra Leone to keep staff employed, World Hope International believes in the importance of improving hospitals to improve the overall health of an entire country.
Currently, WHI’s hospital improvement work is focused around our Ebola prevention and treatment efforts in Sierra Leone. For example, WHI, in partnership with General Electric and Project HOPE, provided four Clinics in a Can(CIC) to remote regions of Northern Sierra Leone. Retrofitted with solar power and operated by Kamakwie Wesleyan Hospital and the Sierra Leone Ministry of Health, these 20-foot CIC’s operate off the grid and provide much needed healthcare access to more than 10,000 people. In addition, WHI, with funding from UKAID, was able to transform and help re-open the Makeni Government Hospital in Sierra Leone, which was originally declared unsafe and shut down in December 2014 due to poor infrastructure and a lack of infectious disease education among staff.
Please visit the Ebola section of this website to find out more about our Ebola efforts.
In Sierra Leone and Haiti, World Hope International has worked extensively with HIV/AIDS prevention. In both countries, with support from the Presidential Emergency Plan For AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), WHI created a network of partnerships with community-based organizations (CBOs). These networks of partnerships helped to effectively implement HIV/AIDS prevention programming, provide counseling and testing services through mobile and freestanding clinics, extend care to orphans and vulnerable children, and provide care and support people living with HIV/AIDS.