St. Simeon Skete, Taylorsville Kentucky USA

With St. Simeon, the God receiver, as our patron, the skete seeks to practice the ideals found in our Rule, The Thousand Day Nazareth. In simplicity and poverty, the skete embraces the struggle of inner life through the practice of the Prayer Rope.

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Donations should be addressed to: Nazareth House Apostolate, 185 Captains Cove Drive, Taylorsville, Kentucky 40071.

Important Notice: All writings, posts, graphics & photographs in this blog are the copyrighted property of (unless otherwise indicated) Nazareth House Media, a division of Nazareth House Apostolate and cannot be copied, printed or used without written permission from NHA Media, Taylorsville, KY.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Report by James Mansaray
of Freetown, Sierra Leone 

Having been born and bred in the Western part of Africa the last thirty years, I never knew hospitals and doctors could be so clean and so friendly until I met these two awesome medical workers who are part of "Women First" Medical Association in Louisville.  
Women First, Louisville KY
Ms. Singer assisted Dr. Warren in caring for Mama Vicki during her recent surgery.

All of us in Salone are so thankful for her good care.  
If Mama Vicki had that surgery in Sierra Leone, she would not be kicking around so easily as she is today.  I didn't expect to meet Mama Vicki doing so good as if she never even had surgery.   I wish we could bring those good doctors to Sierra Leone.  
Women and Children in Sierra Leone are always the victims. It amazes me to see a special medical facility geared entirely to the needs of women. Oh how I pray that someday that will be the case for women in Salone.   As I sat in the waiting room at Women First while Mama Vicki went for her 6 Week Check up I watched in awe the good and friendly receptionists and nurses and doctors.  They were genuinely happy to see and take care of the needs of their patients.  ...and they didn't even ask for money until after the services are done.  Back home, no matter what  kind of illness you are suffering from, you are all placed in one single room to see a single doctor.  And then the doctor will retire when they are hungry, or if their girlfriend calls to chat or if they are in a bad mood, leaving you patients to go rest at home, find another option or just die.  In Sierra Leone, the doctor will not treat you until you have paid in full first, if you don't have money you are out of luck.  Pray not to get sick there…

As I sat at the office, the first thought that came into my mind was, how much better my chances of beating death or getting well would be if I was waiting with diarrhea,  malaria  or typhoid (most common illness in Sierra Leone) in an environment like this? Wow! The cleanliness and  clean smell (no filthy stench) will tell you that you are in for good health.

 The fact is, it took mama Vicki some time to me convince me that we were in a hospital.

To me it looked like the Crown Bakery Restaurant (a fancy restaurant for the rich and foreigners) in Freetown.   You can safely agree with me that there is only one or two good hospitals in Freetown,  the Capital of Sierra Leone, where I came from but they are meant just for the rich. 

 Hospitals like Choithram Memorial at Hill Station in the Western Part of Freetown
and one or two other private hospitals are the only ones you can boast of with a clean and better environment but they are meant for something else. 

In the provinces where Nazareth House Apostolate now concentrates in giving out medication

and supplies to the most needy clinics, you see nothing but pain and death every minute.
 Even the big named Holy Spirit Hospital in the Northern district of  Makeni continues to complain with the lack of medication and no means to treat the sick. Not to mention the well built but empty hospital in my home town of Kabala.
To me hospitals are more of a building than what they can give to get you well and it is always a 75% chance for you to get killed in it rather than get well.
Few mini clinics like the one in Kroobay 
and what nurse Amie runs in a Village near Kabala   
have survived from what NHA has been giving the last few years.
 I say thanks to you all who had kept their monthly donations and medical supplies alive and encourage more and more people to support us.
It is always not enough and believe me Ami is doing this all alone with just one or two assistants dealing with fourteen villages every Wednesdays and Saturdays (which are the clinics days).

So if you are in the villages she serves and  unfortunate to get ill so bad the other days, you are done for.
Pray not to get caught in an environment where the nurses are not friendly. As a sick patient you will be served totally according to the whim of the doctor or nurse. Most patients have to give extra $$$ to see that they are helped. We can't blame the nurse or doctors in Sierra Leone for their desire for tips from the patients as most have not been paid for six good months.  Tell me how the death rate will decrease in these conditions?

A day at Amie’s clinic at Kagbasia village says it all…..
This is what we know and have become accustomed to all these years and I see no room for improvement till we all join hands and work together to make it happen. 
Everyone experiences difficulty in one way or another, rich or poor, however it is our duty to help each other out.  Remember your brother and sisters in Sierra Leone.  
Be there for them, join Nazareth House Apostolate in our efforts to give those who have fallen in the cracks a chance. ....
....A chance to live, a chance to eat, a chance to be educated, a chance to be healthy.  Your donations makes it possible to make that difference, one child, one adult, one life at a time.  God bless you all.