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Sierra Leone

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Growing up on board the floating hospitals of Mercy Ships, Dr. Sandra Lako’s childhood was anything but normal. She was just a teenager when she first sailed into Sierra Leone and encountered a country that would define the course of her life. There, Sandra left the hospital ship to accompany a medical team as they set up a clinic in a village outside of Freetown, tending to a measles outbreak. Sandra spent the week sitting with mothers who were bringing their sick children for care. “Of course, I was a teenager, so not skilled to actually help medically, but I was able to help the moms who were giving their children fluids to rehydrate them,” remembers Sandra. “Sadly, a couple of children died that week. That really had an impact on me… Those experiences are really what determined my plans to go to medical school.” Sandra went on to study medicine in her home country of the Netherlands. Years later, she returned to Sierra Leone to help establish a Mercy Ships health facility in Freetown, providing obstetric fistula care for women with childbirth injuries as well as child health services. Eighteen years later, Sandra still calls Sierra Leone home.

Sierra Leone’s Journey for Better Health: Overcoming Obstacles and Embracing Partnerships

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For those of us on the ground in Sierra Leone, the challenges we face daily in providing healthcare services underscore the grave disparities present across the various corners of our planet when it comes to our ability, or lack thereof, to heal. In Sierra Leone, the most dramatic example of the challenges we face is the severe lack of qualified professionals equipped to handle our nation's diverse and growing healthcare needs, particularly in relation to surgical care.

Mercy Ships Announces the Global Mercy™ will visit Sierra Leone in late summer 2023

GOVERNMENT OF SIERRA LEONE AFFIRMS PARTNERSHIP WITH MERCY SHIPS TO STRENGTHEN SURGICAL CARE Freetown, Sierra Leone, 06 October 2022 – During an audience with His Excellency Julius Maada Bio, President of the Republic of Sierra Leone, the government of Sierra Leone and Mercy Ships extended their existing protocol agreements for their newest hospital ship, the Global Mercy to visit Sierra Leone.