Our in-country team includes local and international experts with a broad range of skills and expertise. Our current team members are below; former KSLP volunteers and staff, including our Ebola volunteers, can be found on our Facebook page.
Daniel Youkee, Country Director
I am an Emergency Medicine doctor with a strong interest in Infectious Diseases and Public Health. I volunteered with KSLP as the Ebola Holding Units Coordinator from 2014-2015 and I am excited to return as the Clinical Manager for the partnership.
It’s great to see the progress made on the ground from the last time I volunteered with King’s. From the refurbishment of the A&E Department and oxygen factory, to the attitude of the junior doctors, to the engagement of our senior colleagues, it’s wonderful to see such improvements.
I started volunteering with KSLP in 2013 and since then I have been working across all faculties of the College of Medicine & Allied Health Sciences (COMAHS), which provides training for medical, nursing and pharmacy students. As the Education Manager, my role is to provide support for curriculum development, faculty development and improvements in teaching facilities. I also input into our ongoing work to strengthen the pharmacy department at Connaught Hospital.
I was previously working with the University of Manchester and Central Manchester University Hospitals to provide training for pharmacists, nurses and doctors at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels. Since gaining my pharmacy degree, I have completed postgraduate qualifications in clinical pharmacy and clinical education. I have previously worked at Ola During Children’s Hospital in Freetown with the Welbodi Partnership.
The enthusiasm of the students I work with and the opportunities I have to collaborate with my Sierra Leonean colleagues are what motivates me to stay and keep going!
Martha Thorpe, Operations Director
I joined KSLP in September 2016 as Operations Director charged with the responsibility of overseeing the day to day operations of the program including but not limited to management of in-country finances including cash flow, budgets and logistics.
Before joining KSLP, I worked as the Director of Human Resources at Partners in Health Sierra Leone, Finance and Administration Manager at Heifer International Sierra Leone and also Human Resources Manager at Plan International. I have gained extensive knowledge and a wealth of experience working in International Non-Governmental Organizations and successfully managed the operational departments of these organizations in the areas of Human Resources Management and Administration, Project Management, Finance and Budgeting.
I hold a Master’s degree in Business Administration (Project Management) from the University of Wales in the United Kingdom and a Professional Diploma in Management from the Open University in the United Kingdom.
Specifically, my immediate goal is to roll out an efficient and effective cash payment system as well as address the anomalies in the non-payment of tax liabilities. I am fired up and extremely excited about joining the KSLP team to contribute to the building of the health care system in Sierra Leone.
Marta Lado, Infectious Diseases Coordinator
Before joining the KSLP team in March 2014 as Volunteer Clinical Lead, I worked for ten years as a clinician in Internal Medicine and Infectious diseases in different environments: Oncology, Internal Medicine, A&E and Infectious diseases Departments in the Spanish Public Health Care System.
I have been involved in several medical projects with different NGOs in rural India, Cameroon and Tanzania focused mainly on the sustainable establishment of health ssytems. I have also worked extensively in in Infectious diseases and obtained my Diploma in Tropical Medicine and Hygiene in East Africa (Tanzania and Uganda) in 2012 through the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.
Ebola caught us in the middle of a health system strengthening project we were working on at Connaught hospital. Without hesitation I decided to stay on to work with the local health care workers during those hard months. The outbreak times were very tough but they have created an amazing environment of work and true bonds with the Sierra Leonean colleagues that has given meaning to the real partnership between KSLP and Connaught.
Despite all the bad moments and sad experiences during the Ebola outbreak, I would not change any decisions I made. The intensity of the human relationships between the KSLP team and the rest of the hospital became stronger and much more solid because of it.
Ibby Kabia, Logistics and Communications Assistant
My work with KSLP began in September 2014 when I received a call from a volunteer asking me to help buy scrubs for the Ebola Isolation Unit. I was very excited to work with KSLP because I had always admired their work. Ever since that call, I have helped coordinate team logistics.
Before I started working with KSLP I was an administrative assistant, security guard, house manager, cameraman, and all-around fixer for the Freetown Fashpack Running Club. When the Ebola outbreak began, I volunteered for the Sierra Leone Red Cross Society doing Community Sensitization. I completed my Senior Secondary School Studies in Freetown and my aim now is to study at University level.
KSLP is amazing organisation to work with. I have gained a lot of experience working with the international staff; they always make room for anyone ready to learn, work, and collaborate! KSLP’s dedication to partnership working is a great approach to supporting health systems, and I look forward to continuing to improve my skills by working with them. I’m proud to also have added Communications Assistant to my duties; the team knows to call on me to take the best photos of our work!
Fenella Beynon, Clinical Researcher – Infectious Diseases
I joined King’s Sierra Leone Partnership as an Infectious Diseases Doctor in March 2016. Working alongside partners in Connaught Hospital gave me a great opportunity to start understanding some of the health challenges faced in Sierra Leone and to learn more about the partnership and how it works.
I have always been interested in infectious diseases and global health from both a clinical and an academic perspective. As well as completing core medical training in London, I have worked in Mexico on prisoner health and HIV (from a clinical and public health standpoint) and completed a Masters in Clinical Research at the Institute of Global Health and the University of Barcelona.
I’ve recently moved into the role of Clinical Infectious Diseases Researcher to work on building research capacity in infectious diseases. I’m looking forward to this opportunity to pursue my interests, work with a great team at KSLP and build strong links with our partners at Connaught Hospital and across Sierra Leone.
I am working with the research team to develop data monitoring and evaluation tools and to implement the new electronic patient record system for the infectious diseases units at both Connaught hospital and 34 Military hospital. I also provide IT support to the KSLP team.
Prior to joining KSLP, I was working as an Assistant Lecturer. I have also worked with the data management team at FHI360 on the STRIVE project. I was part of the data team in the Ebovac Salone trials conducted by COMAHS & London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.
I graduated with a BSc (Hons) in Information Systems in 2011 and I’m presently pursuing a Master’s degree in Public Health specializing in Health Informatics. I have considerable experience working with data management teams in clinical settings and providing IT support to staff.
I feel excited to be part of KSLP team because it has been key in developing the health sector in the country through their partnership. I am also happy being part of the team introducing the Electronic Patient Records system which eases record retrieval and retention at the point of care.
Imogen Jones, Infectious Diseases Doctor
I am very excited to be joining the King’s Sierra Leone Partnership as an Infectious Diseases Doctor. Due to service commitments in the NHS I was unable to travel to Sierra Leone as part of the UK Government response to Ebola, but am extremely grateful that this opportunity has arisen to work with local partners to help strengthen the health care system as it recovers.
I am midway through training in Infectious Diseases and Microbiology in London, and have past experience working in Malawi and Tanzania. I also completed the Diploma of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene in 2012.
My role while I am here includes supporting the Internal Medicine department at Connaught, including the inpatient isolation unit, and helping with the design and implementation of the Infectious Disease Centre of Excellence.
I have already met many enthusiastic staff in my first week, and look forward to working with them over the coming year, and building on the progress already made.
Linda Jenkins, Nurse Educator
I am a UK trained nurse, midwife and health visitor and most recently I worked in an NHS community health trust in the south of England as Named Nurse in safeguarding children. After working as a qualified nurse for many years in the UK I worked as a midwife both in the UK and in a rural development community health project in Burkina Faso for 3 years. I also worked in The Gambia as a nurse tutor in The Gambian Health Service, employed by the Tropical Child Health Institute, Netherlands for 2 years.
My role as KSLP Nurse Educator in Sierra Leone will hopefully allow me to use some of my experience in overseas work and more recently in education in supporting development of the nurse education and training at COMAHS and Connaught Hospital.
I have been impressed by the spirit of positivity in Sierra Leone following the devastation of Ebola. The KSLP team are upbeat and the obvious high regard in which Kings staff are held by our Sierra Leonean colleagues is humbling. I’m looking forward to getting out and about meeting more staff at COMAHS and working with Dr Vandy and all the staff at the Faculty of Nursing team and Connaught Hospital. I am keen to see how I can support the faculty to build on the successful work in medical education that is underway.
Lisa Cleveley, A&E Nurse
I joined KSLP in August 2016 as the Emergency Nurse. Prior to arrival in Freetown, I worked as a Registered Nurse in Canada, with experience in multiple Emergency Departments, as well as NICU, and Obstetrics (Labour and Delivery). I graduated with Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Grant Macewan University in 2012, and later undertook my Diploma in Tropical Nursing from Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine in 2014.
I have the privilege of working exclusively with the Accident and Emergency (A&E) staff at Connaught Hospital, trying to build capacity through providing Emergency Nursing education. I have been motivated to work in a development setting since completing my DTN, and KSLP’s values of capacity building, sustainability, and partnership work aligned with my own professional values, so I am ecstatic to be a part of the team.
Through first impressions I am in constant awe of the resiliency, strength and warmth of the Sierra Leonean people. The culture is undoubtedly as vibrant as the Lappa that lines the streets. I look forward to better understanding development work and its challenges, to supporting the education of the A&E Department, to learning the Krio language, and to perfecting my Beanse and Rice recipe.
Natarajan (Raj) Rajaraman, Medical Educator
I joined KSLP as a volunteer medical educator in January 2017. My background is in medicine, public health, and education, with an interest in health systems strengthening and vulnerable populations. I was drawn to KSLP by the opportunity to serve at a critical juncture in Sierra Leone’s development.
My primary role is supporting the efforts of our partners in the College of Medicine & Allied Health Sciences (COMAHS) and Connaught Hospital, in building the capabilities of the country’s only medical school. Notable projects include facilitating implementation of the new medical curriculum, and establishing a simulation-based clinical skills training room.
It has been humbling to witness the grit and vision of our medical students, and the commitment of faculty and clinical staff to nurture them, undeterred by daily resource limitations.
Hege Lind, Mental Health Nurse Specialist
I am a registered generalist nurse from Norway. I graduated from nursing school in Oslo in 1993 and later took my candidata magisterii in psychology and cadidata sanitas in health science from the University of Oslo in 2005.
I have worked for many years with drug addiction, psychosis, dual diagnosis and eating disorders. I have experience in procurement and contract management for the City of Oslo Department for Welfare Services and the Norwegian Association of Local and Regional Authorities. My previous job was at a national advisory unit, where my role was to write a report on professional framework and research for specialized substance use treatment in Norway.
I am excited by moving to Sierra Leone with my Sierra Leonean husband and at the same time have the opportunity to work with King’s, trying to build the mental health capacity through supervision of mental health nurses and policy development. KSLP’s values of capacity building, sustainability, and partnership work aligned with my own professional values, so I am proud to be a part of the team.
I joined KSLP in October 2016 soon after completing my Acute Care Common Stem training in acute medicine in London. My passion for both intensive care medicine and international development led me to my present role as the Critical Care coordinator with the King’s Sierra Leone Partnership.
Making the journey from working in a busy East London Trauma ICU to working in an ICU in a low resource setting has been a challenging and eye-opening experience. I have had the opportunity to put my skills to valuable use and I feel I have made a real difference in the face of overwhelming local need. On a daily basis I have witnessed the drive and passion of local partners, and this has spurred me in my own determination to continue to build upon the fantastic work KSLP has so far achieved.
I am project lead for the implementation of the ‘Sierra Leone Early Warning Scoring (SLEWS)’ system at Connaught Hospital as well as lead for the Critical Care Outreach service. Both of these projects have had a positive impact on the multidisciplinary management of critically ill patients. I look forward to seeing these projects flourishing over time and resulting in a long-term improvement in patient care for all patients admitted to Connaught hospital.
I joined the King’s team in February 2017 as the in-country lead for emergency medicine. I completed Emergency Medicine training in the West Midlands in August 2016, having sub-specialised in Paediatric Emergency Medicine. An interest in global health prompted me to undertake the Diploma of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene in Liverpool, where I first heard of King’s Sierra Leone Partnership and was impressed with the ethos of the partnership and the focus on sustainability.
I admire the local doctor’s dedication to their patients despite the difficult circumstances in which they practise and look forward to collaborating with them and a range of experts from King’s to implement new ideas. There is a wealth of experience in partnership work amongst the team from which I hope to learn.
During my year at Connaught Hospital I hope to help strengthen the emergency medicine systems through innovation, guideline development, undergraduate and postgraduate teaching and generally encouraging the staff around me. Another aim is to become proficient enough in Krio to master the Freetown transport system! I also envisage accumulating a decent collection of the local brightly coloured and patterned lappa clothing.
I am a respiratory registrar halfway through training in South East London and am currently working in Sierra Leone on the Internal Medicine team. I graduated from King’s College London so it is fantastic to be involved with a programme with such strong roots in my medical school.
In the short time I have been here I have been hugely impressed by what other volunteers have achieved in relatively brief time frames. I have been working in partnership with local doctors as part of an internal medicine team leading and supporting ward rounds. Hopefully I am helping the development of the house officers here at Connaught.
To get my fill of all things lung-based whilst here I will be involved in developing the TB programme as well as looking at the diagnostic use of thoracic ultrasound.
It’s not all fun though (whatever is?). At weekends I am forced to go to the beach and generally be sociable with the other people you see on this page. I bare this with good grace though – that’s just the sort of guy I am.
Danny McLernon-Billows, A&E/Medical Education
I’m a UK junior doctor with an interest in global health and medical education, due to start A&E training in August. I first came to Sierra Leone as a medical student in 2012 with King’s after completing an intercalated BSc in global health. I did some research on student perceptions of medical education in Sierra Leone which helped inform the early King’s partnership with COMAHS. Since then I’ve been waiting for my chance to come back and am delighted to be here again.
It’s great to see the changes that have happened since I was last here 5 years ago. It’s a testament to the success of the partnership approach that changes introduced together by King’s and Connaught staff over the years are now integral parts of the local system. I’ll be spending most of my time working with Connaught staff to strengthen the house officer training program, and supporting the medical records department with a new records management system. As well as forcing Andrew to go to the beach.
I came to Sierra Leone in January 2017 to work as a Volunteer Internal Medicine Doctor. Prior to that I completed my Core Medical Training in London, before heading to Tanzania and Uganda to gain my Diploma in Tropical Medicine and Hygiene through the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.
I’m splitting my time between the internal medicine clinical team and on projects focusing on HIV. Working on the wards has been challenging and eye-opening, but it’s been a real privilege to be alongside house officers and medical officers who face a steep learning curve and heavy responsibilities with amazing dedication. I’m working with local partners in Connaught and in the National AIDS Secretariat to try to promote earlier HIV diagnosis and to improve care for our patients with HIV.
It’s been inspiring to meet such dedicated and enthusiastic people here, within KSLP and more widely. In my free time, I’m enjoying exploring the country and am battling dehydration and sunburn in my attempts to train for the Sierra Leone Marathon.
Hampus Holmer, Surgical Policy Volunteer, Seconded to WHO Sierra Leone
I am a junior medical doctor from Sweden with a background as a researcher in global surgery. I first learned about KSLPs work in 2014 when I helped organise an international conference in Freetown on surgery in resource poor settings. It’s very exciting to be back in Sierra Leone and to have the opportunity to work for KSLP, whilst being based with the World Health Organization. Together, we are able to combine clinical experiences from Connaught and policy experience from the WHO in supporting clinician leaders to develop a national plan for surgery, obstetrics and anaesthesia in Sierra Leone – one of the world’s first such plans, which will help guide efforts to increase access to safe surgery across the country.
Unless otherwise specified, these images were taken by Ibby Kabia and Philippa Tetlow. Photo © KSLP 2016.