West African College of Surgeons (UK Forum)

Every year since 2012, I have worked with the West African College of Surgeons (UK Forum) at surgical outreaches in various member countries of the West African College of Surgeons. This year (between 26 February 2024 and 01 March 2024), we are at an outreach in Sierra Leone. We will be carrying out surgery at four locations in the country (Kenema, Koidu, Makena, and Freetown). I will be at the Koidu General Hospital in the Kono Province of Sierra Leone. Sierra Leone has a couple of ENT surgeons, all based in the capital city (Freetown), so I expect to do ENT clinics in these locations and help people who do not have the opportunity and means to travel to Freetown.

I am immensely grateful to various firms and their contacts for their donations – Tristel UK for surgical wipes to clean laryngoscopes, Swann-Morton for surgical blades, Sheffmed for ENT out-patient equipment, GSM UK for face masks, shields & swabs, Ansell for gloves and face masks, Medtronic UK for nasal packs, Holdsworth Packaging in Sheffield for packaging materials Aviation without Borders (UK) for logistics to carry all these donations and Brussels Airlines for graciously granting a concession for me to take all these donations on the flight.

Health is a human right, but it isn’t in many countries – e.g. most West African countries. Thumbs up to all the big firms that do one thing or another to help. I hope more can be done for the organisation of healthcare in countries where it is still below acceptable levels and that more countries spend a higher percentage of their GDP on healthcare