Patients treated in OPD
The Sierra Leone reference hospital for surgery and traumatology.
The EMERGENCY Surgery Centre in Goderich has a huge impact and importance for the country: during the 2014 and 2015 epidemic of Ebola, it was the only hospital which remained open, even when the structures of Sierra Leone – especially surgical ones – have been closed for weeks for fear of contagion.
The Reference Centre for Traumatology
The Surgical Centre is the reference hospital for traumatology for the entire Sierra Leone: many patients are transferred to Goderich from hospitals in other provinces and sometimes also from neighbouring countries.
Limited at first to urgent and war-related surgery, our admission criteria have progressively expanded. Today they cover traumatology, urgent surgery for treatment of pathologies such as hernias and intestinal perforations, and elective surgery.
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The Centre also has a guesthouse to accommodate relatives and people accompanying patients from far away.
The Programme for Oesophageal Burns
The programme for the treatment of oesophagus burns caused by accidental ingestion of caustic soda is the only one across the country.
The widespread use of caustic soda in Sierra Leone is primarily due to a campaign launched at the end of the civil war that taught women how to produce soap at home. The unexpected consequence of the campaign: the transparent colour of the soda confuses children, who mistake it for water. After ingesting, the burns caused by the soda can impair swallowing and lead to malnutrition.
As in all EMERGENCY projects, the Goderich Surgical Centre prioritises the training of local staff. The local health ministry recognised the hospital as a ‘training school’ and have asked us to train nurses in anaesthesia.
At the 2022 National Health Summit, the Ministry of Health and Sanitation recognised our colleagues in Goderich as the “Best Performing Medical Emergency Response Team” thanks to their work supporting the country through some of the most difficult times: from the Ebola outbreak to a landslide that swept through an entire neighbourhood of Freetown in 2017, from responding to COVID-19 to dealing with a tragic mass casualty incident after a tanker explosion in Wellington in November 2021.