Certified PA Works to Reduce Maternal Mortality in Sierra Leone
Certified PA, Saibatu Mansaray founded the Mansaray Foundation to reduce health care barriers and improve access to quality care for pregnant women in Sierra Leone, where 1 in 73 mothers die from preventable childbirth complications. That rate is six times higher than the global average and underscores the need for Saibatu’s efforts.
To begin her work, she developed partnerships with the Panlap Health Centre and Masongbo Peripheral Heath Unit. She also conducted outreach and awareness activities to reach stakeholders, including leaders of the Gbanti and Makari Chiefdoms.
To extend her efforts with these partners, Saibatu applied for the Be the CHANGE grant. With grant funding, she and her team provided more than 100 birthing buckets to expecting mothers. These buckets contained the necessary supplies to take care of newborn, such as diapers, bibs, wash cloths, newborn hygiene supplies, as well as educational materials. In addition, her team provided community education on pregnancy Dos and Don’ts, danger signs for mother and baby, a guide for proper nutrition, and sexual reproductive health for teens and pre-teens.
Saibatu shared, “My monthly talks to pregnant and lactating women about nutrition, antenatal and postnatal visits, breastfeeding, danger signs, mental health, home support and safety, and lots more are also tied to my clinical background. My clinical side has been overwhelmingly helpful, especially in our efforts to improve the quality of care and healthcare service delivery systems.”
Saibatu and her team also provided training for midwives, traditional birth attendants, and other clinic staff. The trainings addressed immunizations, family planning, prenatal and postnatal care, blood loss in the intrapartum and postpartum stages, and more.
Saibatu highlighted, “The lack of medical resources and education is a major contributor to the crisis. My PA and military background have been an asset to me as I lead the efforts on the ground to implement our strategy to reduce maternal mortality in rural Sierra Leone. The strategy and operational side of serving as a military PA have helped the team and me develop sound medical outreach plans, coordination, and engagement but, also, has enabled me to critically think and start initiatives that are innovative sustainable methods.”
The Mansaray Foundation continues its efforts in Sierra Leone with the goal to reduce the maternal morality rate to one of the lowest in Africa.
Saibatu also shares her important work through a host of conferences and other forums around the world. Check out Saibatu sharing more about her work here.
This project was supported by the nccPA Health Foundation’s Be the CHANGE Grant and additional funding.
(Posted April 2022)