Freetown Team

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.

Suzanne Thomas, Education Manager

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.

Salvador Aquino, Hospital Maintenance & Engineering Manager

I decided to stay with KSLP Team up to March 2018 to work on 2 things; improving the operation, maintenance, and management of Connaught Hospital Oxygen Factory to make it sustainable and optimize its benefits to the patients and the hospital. The battle cry is to ensure availability of medical oxygen to the hospital whenever it is needed, through the oxygen generator, oxygen concentrator machines or through cylinders.I started to work as Volunteer for KSLP in May 2017 to supervise and oversee the construction of the Centre of Excellence for Infectious Diseases (CEID). The building was formerly the Chest Clinic of Connaught Hospital until it was used as Ebola Holding Unit at the height of Ebola crisis in 2014.

Secondly, to strengthen the maintenance unit organization by putting in place systems and procedures, documentations, work prioritization, efficiency and effectiveness improvement, through planning and consultation with various stakeholders and develop doable system of monitoring and supervision. It is my hope that the concept of maintenance management – “maintenance is everyone’s responsibility” – will get started and inculcated in the culture of the hospital within this period.

To work in an environment with scarce resources like in Connaught Hospital adds excitement to the challenges at hand. This is the motivation that drove me to decide to extend my stay.

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 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 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’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.

Sorie Ironn-Sky Turay, IT and Data Systems Manager

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 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.

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.

Sylvanus Thompson – Bookkeeper

Before joining the KSLP Team, I have worked with some Government Institutions like, Sierra Leone Commercial Bank and Ministry of Finance and Economic Development as short term employee. Meanwhile, I was working with a local NGO called Winners Foundation for Vulnerable Children from October, 2013 to September, 2014 as the Finance and Administrative Officer before the shutdown of the Organisation due to the deadly Ebola epidemic outbreak within the operating Community. Furthermore, I later worked with Partners In Health- Sierra Leone as the first Accountant of the Organisation in all of the three operations area, Freetown, Portloko and Kono from February, 2015 to June, 2017 to oversee all Financial transactions, in order to fight and combat the deadly Ebola epidemic outbreak and also to strengthening the health care system of our beloved Country.I am very delighted to join the KSLP Team as a Bookkeeper in July, 2017 with the day to day responsibilities of overseeing the office Petty Cash and Banking transactions of the Organisation.

Moreover, I am a Bachelor Degree (BSc.) holder in Accounting & Finance- Division Two (2) from the Institute of Advanced Management & Technology (IAMTECH) / Affiliate of Njala University. Basically, my main principle in daily life activities of both Human and work relationships is “Transparency and Accountability” which I will always stand by for a better career development.

Ed Moran, Infectious Diseases Doctor

 

I am a consultant in infectious disease and internal medicine, usually based in Birmingham, UK. My professional training took place in Oxford and South Africa with stops for a PhD and the DTMH along the way. My work in Sierra Leone is focussed on TB and HIV care as well developing the management of patients with general infections.

 

Fiona Napier – Emergency Medicine Doctor

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.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.

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.

Lisa Cleveley, Implementation Coordinator

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.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.

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.

Hannah Rickman, Internal Medicine Doctor

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.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.

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.

Hege Lind, Mental Health Nurse Specialist

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 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 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.

 

Dawn Harris – Mental Health Coordinator

I consider myself extremely fortunate to be working in Sierra Leone at a time when mental health is receiving greater recognition and rising up the global agenda. I am inspired by the dedication and hard work shown by the mental health nurses and feel there is a lot that can be learnt from these individuals. I am also astounded by the resilience of Sierra Leoneans when day to day life can be a significant struggle.I joined the KSLP team in March 2017 as the Mental Health Coordinator. The aim of my role is to help build capacity of mental health services, working closely with the Mental Health Nurses to assist with their ongoing career development and delivering training. Prior to volunteering in Sierra Leone I completed my Core Psychiatry Training in London. I have a strong interest in general adult psychiatry and perinatal mental health.

I hope that during my time with KSLP I can continue to build upon this dedication to help raise awareness of mental illness, allowing more people to receive the treatment they need. I look forward to exploring several of the other districts in Sierra Leone when the job allows me travel outside of Freetown.

Naina McCann, Internal Medicine & Infectious Diseases Doctor

I’m excited to have joined the KSLP team in November 2017. Whilst here in Sierra Leone I will be doing a mix of clinical and project-based work to support the local partners in the areas of Internal Medicine and Infectious Diseases. This includes working on projects to strengthen local malaria systems and to develop and implement internal medicine guidelines.

I recently completed my Core Medical Training in London, and will be starting specialist training in Infectious Diseases & General Internal Medicine training on my return from Sierra Leone. My interest in Global Health has previously led me to spend time working in South Africa working on a public health project, and last year I completed the Diploma of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene through the Royal College of Physicians.

I’m really looking forward to meeting and working with local partners and building on the excellent work that’s already been done here.

Lucy Hartshorn, Hospital Performance Monitor

I am working with the Referral Coordinators (RC) team to support the MOHS Program Implementation Unit’s network of RCs in government hospitals across the country – including Connaught! Since starting at the end of October 2017, I’ve been spending my time in Sierra Leone supporting the networks and referrals between the secondary and tertiary hospitals. This involves working with the King’s RC Team, the Referral Coordinators, and the Ministry of Health and Sanitation’s Program Implementation Unit doing a mix of supporting referral processes, design of data analysis systems and communicating the results of all the Referral Coordinators hard work!

My interest in health systems strengthening comes from a mixed background in biomedical sciences and global health. Most recently, I worked with THET to support health partnerships in London, Tanzania and Uganda. It’s exciting and humbling to be here in Freetown working with KSLP, and I’m looking forward to more work on developing both the Sierra Leonean health system referrals and my tolerance for spice.

Sophie Bright, Physiotherapy Coordinator

I joined the KSLP team in 2017 as the Physiotherapy Coordinator, and it has so far been a very rewarding role. There is a high rate of disability within the country, and very few trained Physiotherapists. However, those few are tenacious, passionate and driven towards improving rehabilitation within the Country. It is therefore a pleasure to support them as able towards this goal.

I specialised in Neurological and Stroke Rehabilitation, and as the caseload of Stroke patients within Connaught Hospital is very high one focus of my work so far, has been on improving the Acute care of these patients on the wards. This has included nursing staff alongside Physiotherapy aids to promote a 24-hour approach to rehabilitation and an MDT approach to Stroke care. We are also exploring the feasibility of implementing a Physiotherapy Bsc. Programme within the country, and expanding the reach of Physiotherapy away from Freetown to rural areas.

I also work with the Sierra Leone National Clubfoot Programme team. This programme is now well established, and therefore my role presently is focused on ensuring long term sustainability of the programme.

Tarik Endale, Mental Health Volunteer

I joined KSLP in January 2018 as a Mental Health Volunteer. I’m excited to join the Mental Health Team’s efforts to support the Ministry of Health and Sanitation and its ambition to improve access to quality mental health care and psychosocial support in Sierra Leone. I will be focusing on the programmatic, policy, and research aspects of KSLP’s mental health work while supporting the training and supervisory roles of my clinical team members.

I have a MSc in Global Mental Health from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and Kings College London as well as a BSc in International Health and Psychology from Georgetown University.  My previous experiences include conducting research on mental health program implementation in low- and middle-income countries with the Mental Health Innovation Network.

In my short time here, I’ve already been impressed by what KSLP and their partners have achieved such as the training and supervision of the district mental health nurses who proved to be a crucial component of the 2017 mudslide emergency response. I look forward to collaborating with and learning from the KSLP team, the partners that I’ve already engaged with, and those that I will soon meet.

Rosie Watts, Laboratory Volunteer

I have been a Public Health England (PHE) Scientist since graduating from the University of Brighton in 2013 with BSc (Hons) Biomedical Science. I have an interest in vaccines & immunology as well as in addressing global health inequalities. I volunteered with GOAL in 2015 at the Port Loko ETC laboratory and I am glad to return to Sierra Leone as a laboratory volunteer with KSLP.

It’s extremely exciting to be working at the refurbished & improved lab at Connaught hospital that formally opened the month I started with KSLP – November 2017. My aims will be to help improve laboratory practice and turnaround times for essential diagnostic testing, with a focus on malaria & non-malarial fever. Although working at Connaught I hope to learn lessons and develop implementation strategies that can be rolled-out to other hospital labs in Sierra Leone.

It’s fantastic to see the resilience of Sierra Leone and the differences since my visit in 2015, particularly seeing children on the way to/from schools which were previously closed due to the Ebola outbreak. The strength and positive attitudes I encounter never ceases to amaze me, from people that have managed to overcome civil war, Ebola & natural disasters, all in such a short space of time. Sierra Leone truly is a beautiful country with a huge amount to offer.

Sorie Samura, Referral Coordinator Mentor

Before officially joining KSLP in April 2017, I worked alongside the KSLP team since August 2014 at Connaught Hospital’s Ebola holding unit  as a local volunteer helping to screen, isolate and treat Ebola suspected and confirmed patients. During this period, I learnt a lot from KSLP volunteers and experts through mentorship and clinical skills development which keep me working alongside the team as a local volunteer till January 2016 in the Isolation and later in the Infectious Disease Unit till 2017.

I officially joined the KSLP team in April 2017 as a Referral Coordinator at Connaught Hospital: coordinating referrals from PHUs and Districts hospitals across the country to Connaught l for all EVD survivors requiring Tertiary care.  I ensure that all EVD survivors referred/coming to Connaught  receive quality healthcare free through support from KSLP and CPES project.

In October 2017, I was promoted by KSLP to serve in the capacity as Referral Coordinator-Mentor: giving mentorship to all 17 referral coordinators across the country and engaging the DHMT, Hospital managers and other MOHS staffs on the role of referral coordinators and the need for a national referral system. I am always happy working alongside other KSLP Volunteers and expert to strengthen the Health Care delivery system in my beloved country, and happy with the current Referral project as it has improved access to healthcare, coordination and service delivery for vulnerable populations in the health sector.

Moving forward, I have an ambition of becoming a medical doctor (infectious disease expert) with a major focused on research and Medical Laboratory services.

Stephen Atasige, Hospital Performance & Epidemiology Volunteer

It feels exciting to be back in Sierra Leone. I am particularly motivated by the mission of the partnership which is driven by a great team since I joined the KSLP team in January 2018. I hold a Master of Philosophy degree in Epidemiology and Disease Control (2014), a BSc in Medical Biology (2007) and a professional certificate in Medical Virology from the University of Ghana.

I started my professional career as a biomedical scientist in a district government hospital with the Ghana health service before specializing in epidemiology. So I have a blend of both clinical and public health experience. I have a passion for improving health systems, through training, research and supporting interventions.

I was in Sierra Leone earlier on the ebola response with Save the Children International as a WaSH manager with focus on IPC. It was an experience that fired my passion for working in less endowed settings as it became more evident to me that there is much more to do out there. From my first experience I have gone on to work in Ethiopia on an African union intervention on a cholera outbreak and in Liberia with the African Field Epidemiology network. I have been working to improve the health surveillance systems and building the capacity of health workers in data management and utilization. I have also worked in Ghana as a field consultant to the Ghana field epidemiology training Program, providing capacity training to frontline health workers on public health surveillance and outbreak investigation.

I am here to offer all I have in my basket of experience to support a worthy course and help the partnership achieve its goals.

Unless otherwise specified, these images were taken by Ibby Kabia and Philippa Tetlow. Photo © KSLP 2016.