The Aberdeen Women’s (AWC) Centre in Freetown provides the only comprehensive fistula repair service in Sierra Leone and has the capacity to treat up to 300 fistula patients per year.
The Centre takes a holistic approach to the care of women and children and in 2010 opened its own maternity unit to provide the highest standards of maternal healthcare for the women of Sierra Leone, thus preventing the occurrence of obstetric fistula in the first instance and ensuring a safe environment for childbirth.
The Maternity is now the second busiest in Sierra Leone, delivering up to 3,000 babies each year.
The AWC also runs an outpatient children’s clinic which treats more than 20,000 children each year, providing a primary care facility for children in the surrounding community aged 15 and under, including immunisations and health education. The paediatric team also provides a twice weekly outreach clinic in the Kroo Bay slum of Freetown, providing much needed primary care to the most disadvantaged children.
The Aberdeen Women’s Centre is a self-contained facility and more than 90% of the staff are Sierra Leone nationals.
Supported by the Aminata Maternal Foundation (AMF), the Aberdeen Women’s Centre runs the Dream Girls program that provides wraparound support to vulnerable and destitute teenage girls before, during and after childbirth. In addition to support from a dedicated counsellor, the girls attend classes in health education and how to look after their babies, as well as literacy and numeracy and support their return to school.
AMF also supports the Skills Development Training programme for 60 girls each year where they learn skills that will help them to gain employment or set up their own businesses including, tailoring, hairdressing, cooking and housekeeping.
Approximately 250 babies are safely delivered each month and the Centre has a training programme for local midwives which will contribute to the development of long-term, sustainable maternity care in the country.