Bump it Forward: Donations arrive in Freetown Sierra Leone

News article 20 Aug 2021
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Earlier this week PPE for use by health care workers in Freetown Sierra Leone arrived following donations to LSTM’s Bump it Forward campaign. Set up in January this year, Bump it Forward encouraged people to donate the equivalent cost of the COVID vaccine, that they would be receiving from the NHS to help protect health workers in in Africa until they were able to receive their vaccinations.

The campaign, which has raised over £230,000 from over four thousand donors, has funded PPE, and now diagnostic tests across several African countries and earlier this week a shipment of PPE worth more than £8,000 arrived in Freetown for use in the teaching hospitals of the University of Sierra Leone through College of Medicine and Allied Health Sciences (COMAHS) a partner in the LSTM led GCRF ARISE Hub.

Medics and medical students, who often go without PPE account for 6.2% of COVID-19 cases in Sierra Leone, and the country that can ill-afford to lose health workers especially following the devastation caused to the health system during the Ebola outbreak of 2014, have lost 2 doctors to the COVID-19 outbreak.

Samuel Saidu, PhD offsite student in Sierra Leone working with ARISE, said: "Before now, we have not engaged the student body neither the administration generally on the ARISE project. With this PPEs supplies donated to COMAHS-USL, Bump it Forward has given us the opportunity to show off what the ARISE project is, and the impact partnership plays during a pandemic like COVID-19"

The pandemic put fragile health systems under considerable pressure and led to shortages of basic protective equipment which are needed to keep healthcare workers safe. This has resulted in high rates of staff sickness at a time when they are needed most. The Bump it Forward campaign was set up in January in response to the huge challenges faced by thousands of healthcare workers in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Healthcare workers perform the vital role of caring for patients as a second COVID-19 wave has hit many African countries. The pandemic has put fragile health systems under considerable pressure and led to shortages of basic protective equipment which are needed to keep healthcare workers safe. This has resulted in high rates of staff sickness at a time when they are needed most. #BumpItForward is GROWING.

A third COVID-19 wave is impacting many African countries and only a small percentage of the population is vaccinated. Rapid diagnostic testing and more PPE will help control the spread and protect health workers and communities until the vaccine reaches them. You can help. Donating the cost of a vaccine (c£25) will cover four tests and help to save lives