Local Partner: Christian Health Association of Sierra Leone
Program Director: Walter Carew
Areas Served: Communities located in all districts of Sierra Leone, with a total population of more than five million people.
Program Goals: Christian Health Association of Sierra Leone’s (CHASL) mission and goals are to equip and support Christian health institutions in the provision of affordable, high-quality, easily accessible and sustainable health care services for the people of Sierra Leone. Its overarching goal is to provide quality medical care to an ever-increasing population of patients.
Program Services Provided: Treatment of life-threatening diseases such as malaria and respiratory tract infections continue to be the amongst the largest number of diseases treated, while there are also high incidences of typhoid, hypertension and diarrhea. In addition to providing inpatient care, surgery obstetric delivery and newborn care, CHASL also provides laboratory, ultrasound and x-ray services. A full-service outpatient clinic is operated open six days a week, and CHASL also operates a malnutrition treatment and stabilization program under the direction of the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF). It also operates eye clinics providing examinations and glasses, as well as a program offering cataract and other eye surgeries. In addition, its Pharmacy Department also assists members in drug procurement and handling. It has secured clearance and import permits for prescription and non-prescription drugs and medical supplies imported into the country by CHASL Member Institutions in the United States.
Number of Program Beneficiaries: Through various services rendered, CHASL member hospitals and clinics attended to a total of 322,841 patients in 2013. CHASL members participated in 5,133 live births, of which 3,832 were normal deliveries. Also, 639 Caesarean sections and 37 assisted deliveries were conducted.
Current Need: Challenges for CHASL members in recent years have been to provide quality health care services to people in its catchment areas as they struggle to manage with inadequate resources. The organization also faces considerable challenges in its efforts to coordinate the activities of the member institutions, helping to create an enabling environment for them through supportive services, advocacy and training. Significant constraints faced by its Secretariat and member institutions include inadequate funding for the operation of the Secretariat and to effectively support its members in their delivery of health care, training and other logistical support, transportation in order to do monitoring and supervision of its members, and lack of access to reliable drugs at reasonable cost for its members’ operation. Also the lack of funds means the staffs were made redundant and asks to continue working as volunteers. Also the Secretariat would be better served if they had a delivery van that would be doing distribution of materials to members to avoid congestion in the CHASL store. Due to the emergence of the Ebola outbreak, CHASL members are specifically in need of PPE kits and thankfully we have been receiving them from various donors, but they can never be enough.
Program Summary: CHASL membership comprises a total of 54 Health Institutions owned by both church denominations and Christian organizations registered in Sierra Leone. It is includes 10 general hospitals, two eye hospitals, 35 health centers/clinics and seven faith-based non-governmental organizations with health promoting programs. Its members have a presence in all but one of the 14 districts in the country and mainly operate in rural settings, serving the poor and needy communities. Total staff of member institutions was 561 at the end of 2013.