The King’s Sierra Leone Partnership is working alongside local partners to build a strong and resilient health system in Sierra Leone. We’re doing this by building the capacity of individuals, institutions, and systems to improve health outcomes.
We will achieve this by working with local partners to:
- Pioneer health policy and models of care
- Deliver vital clinical services
- Provide health education and training through distance-learning, volunteer trips and a dedicated in-country team
- Produce new knowledge on health service strengthening through ground-breaking research
The King’s Sierra Leone Partnership (KSLP) works in partnership to improve health and health services in Sierra Leone. Our partnership is based on ideas of trust and shared accountability between King’s Sierra Leone Partnership and our local partners in Sierra Leone. The partnership is long-term but not permanent, and is based on reciprocal learning and mutual benefits.
The strong relationships we’ve developed with our partners, as well as the dedication of our international volunteers, allows us to implement and support affordable, resilient, and integrated programmes that are aligned with Sierra Leonean health priorities. This means that the improvements we make have a better chance of becoming permanent positive change.
Our Partnership is between King’s Health Partners – itself a partnership between King’s College London, and Guy’s and St Thomas’, King’s College Hospital and South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trusts – and three key Sierra Leonean institutions:
- Connaught Hospital, the country’s main teaching and referral hospital
- The College of Medical and Allied Health Sciences (COMAHS), Sierra Leone’s only medical and pharmacy school, and the main institution for basic and specialist nurse training
- The Ministry of Health and Sanitation, the branch of government which focuses on issues related to the general health of Sierra Leone’s citizens
How We Work
The King’s Sierra Leone Partnership was established in 2013 to build the capacity of key institutions, including the Ministry of Health and Sanitation, Connaught Hospital and The College of Medicine and Allied Health Services (COMAHS), and of individual health workers.
KSLP leverages technical expertise from King’s Health Partners to build a strong and resilient health system in Sierra Leone.
We deploy highly skilled long-term volunteers to work alongside our Sierra Leonean colleagues. This model means that KSLP gains valuable insights into challenges on the ground, and is able to develop and adapt solutions appropriate to the local context. Through a combination of mentoring during clinical service delivery and providing formal education and training, KSLP is able to build the capacity of individual health workers. Our volunteers are supported locally by the Core Management Team and from afar by senior technical advisors from King’s Health Partners and other UK institutions who provide specialist guidance through online discussion and short visits.
Our partnership approach is founded on values of collaboration, inclusivity, sustainability, impact, rigour and accountability. It is structured around an integrated approach that reaches across training, clinical services and policy, and is underpinned by research. KSLP seeks to minimise dependency and our ultimate aim is for all programmes to be developed and delivered by partner institutions and health workers.
KSLP’s work has significant reach and impact across Sierra Leone because the doctors, nurses and allied health professionals who receive undergraduate and postgraduate training in our partner institutions then spread across the country and its health facilities.
Since 2013, KSLP and its partners have completed a range of projects improving health outcomes and maintaining essential health services, including:
- Establishing an Emergency Department with triage system in Connaught Hospital
- Refurbishing the country’s first oxygen factory, capable of providing piped high flow oxygen leading to a reduction of mortality rates in Connaught Hospital’s Intensive Care Unit by 20%,
- Supporting COMAHS to review their medical curriculum and implement new educational practices, such as introducing practical skills assessment through the internationally recognised Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE),
- Contributing to the development, implementation and roll out of new national HIV guidelines
- Spearheading a model of rapidly establishing Ebola isolation facilities at Connaught Hospital and five other secondary sites in the urban Western Area. The six units supported through our partnership managed over 14% of all Ebola cases in Sierra Leone (and over 40% of those in Freetown), for less than 1% of all UK expenditure on the crisis. You can read more about the Ebola Isolation units in a recent article published by the BMJ Global Health.