Bringing Light to Sierra Leone

When you wake up in the morning, one of the first things you do is turn on a light. For those of us who have the blessing of a home that has electricity running through it, we can’t fully picture what it would be like to almost always be without power. Now imagine a hospital and how much electricity it must need to keep the lights on as well as all the medical equipment that requires power. Although we can count on power staying on at the hospitals here in the United States, other countries face a more grim reality.

Mattru Hospital is located in the coastal nation of Sierra Leone in Africa. This hospital has been run by the United Brethren in Christ since the 1950’s and has always faced scarcities in supplies, medication, water, personnel, and reliable power.

During the 1980’s, the hospital had a powerful generator that could supply the facility and missionaries’ homes with electricity, but because fuel was so expensive and scarce, it could only be used for surgeries and a couple of hours in the evenings. When the country became victim to civil war in the 1990’s, the generator was lost. Since then, the hospital has been depending on a few small and unreliable generators. The doctors who needed to perform surgery were never sure how long the lights would stay on so they had to depend on flashlights or a kerosene lamp when the power eventually ran out.

Through some grants, a very generous private donor, and a gift from the Southwestern Medical Clinicsolar panels in sierra leone Foundation, Mattru Hospital is now coming into the 21st century with 24-hour, dependable electricity via solar panels.

“For those of us here in the states, accustomed and even dependent on reliable electricity, it may seem hard to imagine what a big step this will be for Mattru,” said Daniel Metzger, MD, Southwestern Medical Clinic. “Not having to worry about whether the finicky generator will decide to run or not and having to come up with the money for the fuel to feed it is just huge!”

water purification system for sierra leoneDr. Metzger believes that having this new, dependable source of power might even be an income generator for the hospital as they may be able to sell excess electricity to the community. A water purification system has already been installed and the hospital has been able to sell “bottled” water to the community.

Mattru Hospital will now be able to provide a greater level of care to their people because of this generous donation. However, there are still other hospitals around the world facing a lack of power, clean water, and other machines and tools that would help them effectively serve their communities. We would love to partner with you to bring hope (and light) to other medical facilities and communities that are in desperate need.

If you would like to donate to Southwestern Medical Clinic Foundation click here or if shopping on Amazon, select Southwestern Medical Clinic Foundation as your charity of choice the next time you log onto the Amazon Smile charity donation page. Donations to Southwestern Medical Clinic Foundation will go toward providing equipment, supplies, and scholarships for medical missions work around the world.

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