One thing I have learned as a writer is that when you want to inform an audience, you need high quality evidence from a high quality source. That’s why I recently visited the main referral hospital in Freetown – Princess Christian Maternity Hospital (PCMH) – commonly known as ‘Cottage Hospital’.
I wanted to learn more about the safety of the hospital for pregnant women and newborns in times of Ebola and after caught up with Dr. A.P Koroma, the Medical Superintendent of PCMH. He shared with me 10 very important reasons why PCMH is safe for mothers and newborns now and after Ebola.
Here is why we should encourage our mamas in Freetown to use PCMH:
- PCMH operates a triage system during this Ebola period, run by Partners In Health. This means that pregnant women are screened for Ebola and receive a rapid test result before being admitted into the main hospital.
- With support from The Campaign on Accelerated Reduction of Maternal, Newborn and Child Mortality in Africa (CARMMA), assorted food items are being distributed to pregnant women who attend antenatal care at the hospital.
- Thanks to the support of First Lady of Sierra Leone, Sia Koroma, a post-delivery package is given to women who deliver in the hospital.
- PCMH has skilled, caring health workers that provide life-saving health services and drugs for mothers and babies.
- During the three day stay at home period between 27th and 29th March, the hospital provided a safe birth for 37 babies and carried out 10 safe caesarean operations. The hospital also provided antenatal care for over 50 pregnant women.
- PCMH has water and electricity supplies when needed, as shown by the December 2014 FIT scorecard.
- PCMH has an effective laboratory system, also shown by the December 2014 FIT scorecard.
- To make sure the hospital is secure, PCMH currently has police and military personnel on the ground. Plans are ongoing to hire a private security company and to install security cameras in and out of the hospital building.
- The hospital has a high quality infection prevention control system that has protected the staff at the hospital since the Ebola outbreak.
- PCMH has a large capacity of 150 beds.
These 10 reasons show that PCMH can provide life-saving care for pregnant women and newborns in Freetown in these times of Ebola.