St. Mary’s Clinic – Healthcare close to home…

July 2020

The community of Moriba Town, Sierra Leone is located in a beautiful, rural setting but far from services, especially healthcare.  Approximately 160 miles south of Freetown, nearly 12,000 people call Moriba Town home.

HealeyIRF is committed to supporting facilities in remote areas of Sierra Leone where healthcare services for vulnerable populations, such as pregnant women and young children, are desperately needed.

The district where St. Mary’s is located, Moyamba, has a life expectancy at birth of slightly over 44 years. The national average is 55.5 years.  It also has one of the highest under-5 mortality rates in the country. 

Clinic forced to close during war

a collage photo with the top photo a picture of the clinic which is painted yellow and brown. The bottom left photo is graffiti left by rebels and the bottom right is a photo of bullet holes in the wall

St. Mary’s Clinic opened its doors in Moriba Town in 1986.  During the civil war (1992-2002), the facility was taken over by rebels and vandalized. It was forced to close.  Bullet holes and graffiti were still visible on the clinic walls, when HealeyIRF did a clinic assessment in 2012.

The clinic reopened in 2007. HealeyIRF supports St. Mary’s Clinic with medicines and supplies. Without the clinic, access to healthcare in the area is extremely difficult. The closest hospital is nearly 35 miles away over challenging roads. During the rainy season these roads can become almost impassable.

Mary Gbandi, a resident, said, “I am happy that we have a clinic in our neighborhood and thank HealeyIRF for their support.”

Deliveries this year to the clinic include gloves, masks and other items to help fight the spread of the coronavirus.  In addition, medical supplies such as bandages, sutures, lancets and biomedical waste disposal cans were sent to St. Mary’s.

Medicines & Supplies Delivered

Helping improve health outcomes in Moriba Town for under-5s and pregnant women is a key component of HealeyIRF’s healthcare focus.  Treating children with diarrhea and respiratory infection is critical and antibiotics are given to the Clinic.  Also, many children in the community suffer from parasitic worms. Through our partnership with Vitamin Angels we are able to supply the clinic with albendazole to get rid of these infestations.  This partnership provides pregnant women with multivitamins helping them maintain their health and have a greater chance of delivering a healthy baby.

“This community is very near to my heart,” stated Health Administrator Sister Josephine Amara. “I am from this district and am well aware of the struggles of people to access quality healthcare services. We will continue supporting St. Mary’s Clinic as it will help improve the health of so many in need.”