VILLAGE MEDICAL PROJECT FOR SIERRA LEONE
The Village Medical Project (VMP) provides free medical treatment for the people of Sierra Leone.
The Village Medical Project brings much needed medicine and medical expertise to small villages in Sierra Leone each year. The Project currently equips and transports medical teams to remote villages where some residents have never seen a doctor. The Project is financed by the Village Medical Project for Sierra Leone Society, a registered non-profit society. The need is real and the Village Medical Project truly makes a difference.
Statistics on Sierra Leone:
The civil war in Sierra Leone ended in January 2002 and since then the political situation has become relatively stable, with the 17,000 UN peacekeeping forces slowly drawing down and infrastructure gradually being rebuilt. However, the scars of war are still present; in the bullet strewn buildings, in the beggars who have had limbs cut off during the violence, and in the stories and experiences shared by the people you talk with. The country has remained relatively peaceful during the past 8 years, although it is struggling to free itself from the economic consequences of years of war, with the latest UN development index listing Sierra Leone's economic development 177th out of 177 countries worldwide.
Bullet holes riddle homes after 11 years of civil war.
Sierra Leone’s healthcare system is in no better shape than its economy. According to figures from the 2006 revision of the United Nations World Population Prospects report for the period 2005-2010, Sierra Leone has the highest infant mortality rate (16.03%), the highest under five mortality rate of (28.50%) and the lowest life expectancy rate (40 years) in the world. The healthcare system of Sierra Leone operates with approximately 130 qualified doctors, mostly located in the larger cities, who provide medical services for a population of 5.7 million. That's one doctor for every 44,000 people. Most people in the villages, many with severe medical conditions, have never seen a doctor in their lives.
Special attention is given to pregnant women, infants and those under the age of five.
The Village Medical Project for Sierra Leone Society (VMP) provides free medical treatment to all villagers in each village they visit, giving special attention to vulnerable target groups, in particular, pregnant women, infants and those under the age of five. So far, the project has delivered services in the Kono District, located approximately 280 km East of Freetown, the capital of Sierra Leone. Preparations for the VMP started in February 2007, with Professor Aiah Gbakima choosing the area of the country and the villages that would be visited to begin the project. He provided a comprehensive census done village by village where each household was given an identification number and a listing of its occupant’s names, sex and age. This census, along with current data provided by the WHO and the CMO of Sierra Leone, the project determines the type and amounts of drugs and medical supplies needed to provide the level of care required within these villages.