On Wednesday, Sierra Leone celebrated 50 years of Independence. I went up to Deck 7 where our patients go for some fresh air and to be outside. Tamba, one of our orthopaedic patients, decided he was going to check out my heart with a stethoscope and make sure it is good.
We have worked hard to have a HOPE Center where our patients who no longer need to be in the hospital wards, but still need to visit the ship for outpatient care and they live too far away. The Center is a safe place they can stay – it is within walking distance of the ship. We purchased and assembled a modular toilet block and this was the day of commissioning.
We had the great opportunity to host the Minister of Health and many of her staff and other healthcare professionals for our Hospital Reception. The event was held in the International Lounge with a tour and refreshments afterwards – primarily hosted by our Hospital crew members.
One of the early events we hold on board is our Civic & Media Reception. We were a bit delayed this year due to various reasons. The photo is of our receiving line, just inside the ship. Our leaders had a time of sharing from the front of the International Lounge and then I had the privilege to be a tour guide for a group to see the ship, our hospital and our home.
After the difficulties with the first mass screening and with much consultation we did a second one on Saturday the 26th of March with over 3,000 people coming and about 300 came into the compound to see if they were a suitable surgical candidate.
While visiting some rural schools, I tried to connect with the children – those from the school and those just from the neighborhood. It took great courage for this little guy to ‘shake’ my hand. I actually took part of this photo and posted as my profile photo on Facebook.
During a visit with one of our board members, we went out to see some rural schools. I don’t think some of the little ones have seen a white man – this little guy was not too sure what to do – even though the older ones had already given me ‘five’ (slapped my hand).