First Aid Posts
EMERGENCY operates First Aid Posts in Lokomasama and Waterloo.
It is essential to provide assistance to ill and wounded people as quickly as possible; to broaden access to medical facilities, reaching places far away from larger hospitals; to provide even the smallest settlements with medical equipment; and to develop healthcare competencies within communities. These are some of the core aims of EMERGENCY’s networks of First Aid Posts (FAPs).
Although the Ebola epidemic in Sierra Leone – and elsewhere in West Africa – has successfully been brought to an end, our services are still needed in the country. The outbreak further weakened an already vulnerable national healthcare system. Thanks to co-financing from the European Union’s Delegation to Sierra Leone, in 2015 we opened two FAPs in Lokomasama and Waterloo to provide free treatment for local communities and to strengthen local health workers’ capacity to respond to emergencies in areas of the country where existing medical infrastructure and provision is lacking.
An Integrated Network
At First Aid Posts, EMERGENCY’s local staff provide primary health services 24 hours per day, 7 days per week. Luca, our national coordinator, explains that “continuity like this isn’t so common in Sierra Leone.” The First Aid Posts are part of an integrated referral network, thanks to our ambulance service. Staff at the FAPs are always on standby and – where required – are ready to transfer urgent cases to our Surgical and Paediatric Centres in Goderich.
Activities at our FAP in Waterloo continue. As of June 2020, the facility has provided 21,600 outpatient consultations and has referred 4,743 patients for further treatment. To date, staff at the FAP have carried out 51,073 outreach visits within the local community.
Our activities at the Lokomasama FAP ended in September 2017. In its two years of operation, the Lokomasama FAP provided 17,645 free medical consultations and referred 543 patients to hospital for further treatment. During this time, staff from the facility also delivered 30,741 outreach visits.
(Data correct as of December 2020)