Tuesday, February 7, 2012
Dr. Gerry Smith speaks about Sierra Leone
Dr. Gerry Smith of Greenfield spoke to Kiwanis about his involvement with NarSarah Clinic in Sierra Leone, West Africa. Dr. Smith serves on the board of SEED (Salone Enabling and Empowering Development, Inc.). SEED operates the NarSarah Clinic the Koinadugu District of Sierra Leone.
Dr. Smith told us of the conditions in Sierra Leone one of the poorest countries in the world. Life expectancy is 46 years, the literacy rate is 21%, 70 % of the population lives below the poverty line, 32% of the population does not have access to safe drinking water and childhood mortality is 25%. Most of the country has no electricity, water, or sanitary sewer.
The NarSarah Clinic sees over 50 patients per day, some of whom walk over 10 miles to get to the clinic. 1 to 2 babies are delivered per day. In addition to the clinic SEED provides: Health Education Programs; HIV/AIDS Awareness classes; Women Against Poverty; Business Development; Agriculture and Animal Husbandry training; Education including scholarships; Camp for Amputees and War Wounded; and a School for the Blind. One of the educational programs taught the local clients how to can and preserve food for the rainy season when there are no harvests. The equipment including canners and canning jars was provided in addition to the training.
More information on SEED, including programs and how to help, can be found at www.seed-narsarah.org .
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