Reducing child mortality in Sierra Leone is a key focus of Freedom From Fistula (FFF) at the AWC. Sierra Leone has one of the world’s highest child mortality rates, with 1 in 5 children not reaching their 5th birthday.
Our Outpatient Children’s Clinic (OPC) was open throughout the ongoing pandemic in 2021, providing free primary healthcare to the children of Aberdeen and surrounding communities aged between new-born and 15 years.
An average of 80-100 children were seen every day at the OPC for a variety of illnesses such as malaria, typhoid, malnutrition and acute respiratory infections. The AWC also continued to offer free, vital childhood vaccinations throughout 2021 thanks to our partners, conducting 20,946 consultations at our OPC, providing 8,486 immunizations and 3,557 HIV tests.
Our HIV testing program continued to provide vital diagnosis for children in 2021, referring them on to other centres for treatment.
Lamin, at a little over a year old, had been coming to our OPC on a weekly basis for 6 months. He was very poorly when he first arrived. But, accompanied by his dad each week, we were delighted to see little Lamin’s health improve considerably. He is responding well to treatment, the regular medical check ups and supervision.
“I thought all was lost. But, AWC gave me hope and courage to believe that my son will live. I am very grateful and thankful to God and the management of AWC. May God bless them” Lamin’s dad
We run two supplementary support programs for teenage mothers at the AWC - Dream Girls and Skills Training Centre. The overall goal of the teenage programs is to transform the lives of first-time teenage mothers through education and empowerment, by rebuilding their self-esteem and confidence, teaching them new skills, and by allowing them to thrive in a safe space with peers. We also aim to reintegrate the teenagers back into their families and communities and offer support and guidance if they would like to return to school or gain employment.
The Dream Girls program continued to be impacted by Covid restrictions for the majority of 2021 as it was deemed a non-essential service but thankfully it restarted in October
In 2021, we moved away from a residential training hostel to a day programme Skills Training Centre that allowed us to double the number of girls participating each year and the first group of 30 new trainees graduated from the STC in November 2021. We thank the Aminata Maternal Foundation in Australia for its continued support of the Dream Girls and Skills Training Centre.
Isata was selling potato leaves for her mother when she met a teenage boy and they started a relationship. She was in love but for him it was just fun. She became pregnant and the boy ran away. Fortunately somebody told her about AWC and she was registered and safely delivered her cute baby girl.
Isata is also one of the teen moms benefitting from training through our Skills Training Centre, supported by Aminata Maternal Foundation.
Isata was one of our best students, motivated from the beginning and focused on her skills training. She now has the skills to work as a tailor, cook, housekeeper or hairdresser and we are very proud of Isata.
Isata started as a cleaner and cook at AWC, but did extremely well, so we offered her a job as a procurement officer. She is very happy and grateful for her first well-paid job.