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  • Employees Support Sierra Leone Hospice During COVID-19 Pandemic

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During a crisis, it’s human nature to focus on the problems closest to home. Thanks to the generosity of our employees, Hosparus Health is reaching out to make an impact on the other side of the world by supporting our sister hospice organization, The Shepherd’s Hospice in Sierra Leone. Through an ongoing employee giving campaign, we recently made a donation of $10,000 to support Shepherd’s Hospice’s palliative care services, which are facing new challenges as a result of COVID-19.

The donation has helped fund the purchase of medical supplies, including face masks and other personal protective equipment (PPE).

“We are profoundly grateful for this financial support from a big sister hospice,” says Gabriel Madiye, Executive Director of The Shepherd’s Hospice. “Thank you and all the staff of Hosparus Health for your financial support to our palliative care service in Sierra Leone.”

Shepherd’s Hospice inpatient palliative care has been severely restricted to comply with the country’s Infection Prevention & Control (IPC) guidelines for COVID-19 prevention. The organization is only seeing patients on an outpatient basis. Its inpatient unit, which cared for 350 patients with life-threatening illnesses such as cancer and HIV/AIDS in 2019, has been temporarily closed to the public.

A Longstanding Partnership

Hosparus Health has partnered with Shepherd’s Hospice for many years, sending supplies and donations to help as many seriously illness people as possible. In August 2019, our donations helped repair damages due to flooding. Other previous gifts from Hosparus Health’s employees have helped pay for training for its clinical staff, as well as patient education.

Gabriel describes the process of educating family caregivers: “At the inpatient palliative care centre, patients’ relatives are trained in basic home care skills such as hygiene, giving medicines, feeding, bathing, ventilation of the rooms, wound cleaning and dressing, disinfecting the hands and objects and hand washing. Emphasis is placed on prevention of bed sores and its care by frequent turning of the patient. This short, practical training takes a maximum of three days to allow the patient’s relative to develop confidence to serve as caregiver in the home. The clinical team, including doctors, Community Health Officers and nurses, are skilled in listening to patients for their concerns.”

In 2020, Shepherd’s Hospice plans to hire Lydia Sesay as a Community Health Officer to assist the organization’s physicians in outpatient care. She specializes in treating HIV/AIDS and TB. Her salary will be funded in part by Hosparus Health donations, thanks to the kindness of our employees.

“We are profusely grateful that Hosparus Health has continued to fund our palliative care program through staff contributions,” says Gabriel.

Thank you, Gabriel, and everyone at Shepherd’s Hospice for all your hard work to ensure all those with life-limiting illness in Sierra Leone get the compassionate care they deserve!

For more about Shepherd’s Hospice, visit  theshepherdshospice.com.

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