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King's Sierra Leone Partnership Meeting

Last month, nearly 70 members of staff from across King’s Health Partners and beyond attended a meeting on the King’s Sierra Leone Partnership (KSLP) to discuss how they can contribute to various projects aimed at strengthening human resources for health.

The evening began with an overview of the healthcare context in Sierra Leone and the Partnership, detailing how it all began, where it is up to now, and it’s aims for the future.

Attendees were introduced to the two main partners in Sierra Leone; the College of Medicine and Allied Sciences (COMAHS), the country’s only medical and pharmacy school and largest nursing college, and Connaught Hospital, the main adult referral and teaching hospital in Sierra Leone. 

Staff at King’s Health Partners will support colleagues in Sierra Leone on projects aimed at strengthening the workforce including undergraduate and postgraduate health education and continued professional development.

As of January however, King’s will have an office in the capital Freetown,  allowing the team to better collaborate with both current and future partners and expand their reach.

The core of KSLP activities will focus on Health Training Institutes, Teaching Hospitals and Professional Associations, working with them to develop their faculty, the administrative capability and facility improvement, as well as promoting research collaboration.

This activity however will be linked to the Ministry of Health and Sanitation, through policy development, HR Management Support and Admin & Data Systems.  KSLP also aim to connect with district hospitals and health workers at the local level in form of Training & Continued Professional Development, Quality Improvement and Data Collection.  King’s will be coordinating it’s efforts with those of other health related NGO’s and diaspora groups through the UK-Sierra Leone Health Partners Network (UKSLHP). 

In the second half of the meeting, the attendees split into groups according to seven major themes and worked to identify priority areas which could be developed into future projects, including research.  At present these groups include:

  1. Health professions education (medicine, nursing, midwifery and pharmacy)
  2. Paediatrics
  3. Surgery
  4. Infectious disease
  5. Hospital management
  6. Mental Health
  7. Students

We also hope to form groups around other related areas such as women’s health and IT/administration.  KSLP will work with these groups to drive activity in the UK.  If you wish to get involved with one of these groups, please contact Hannah Franklin (hannah.m.franklin@kcl.ac.uk) with your details. 

To register as a member of the Sierra Leone Health Partners Network visit http://www.ukslhp.org

For further information on the King's Sierra Leone Partnership, please contact Dr Oliver Johnson at oliver.johnson@kcl.ac.uk