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 ….that was the number of Paracetamol tablets that were taken to the Nixon Methodist Hospital in Segbwema, Sierra Leone on my latest visit.  Let me give you a little of the background.  Christ Church has had links with Sierra Leone since 2006 when I first went to help build a Skills Training Centre in Kailahun.  In conversation with Rev. Arnold Temple, the new President of the Methodist Church in Sierra Leone, he asked if it was at all possible to help with the Methodist Hospital in Segbwema only 50 miles from Kailahun and the nearest Hospital!  During the winter, plans were made and in February 12 people from around the Lancashire District of the Methodist Church, with me as leader, set off.  The team included 2 doctors, 5 nurses and 2 ministers (one of whom was Rev. Stephen Poxon- Chair of the District). 

For some of the team this was their first time being involved in something like this, and a great eye-opener.  Once you had got used to the heat, trying to sleep under a mosquito net, washing out of a bucket and eating food that was unfamiliar, we had to start work.  For the medics amongst us that involved training nurses and seeing patients on the wards and at the Out Patient’s Department.  For some it was talking to Ministers and Local Preachers and visiting the local schools.  Others did building maintenance and restocking the Pharmacy — which brings me back to the Paracetamol tablets.  Before we set off I asked the one doctor at the hospital what would be useful to bring with us and at the top of his list was Paracetamol tablets.  As you are probably aware you can pick these up very cheaply at the local supermarkets.  So the 12 of us asked our local congregations if they wanted to help, “next time you go shopping just pick up a packet of tablets.”  Of course all these had to be checked, put in date order and entered into the Pharmacy ledger.  That’s why Stephen and I spent a whole day counting tablets!!

My grateful thanks for all your donations and prayers, which has enabled the team to be alongside our sisters and brothers in Sierra Leone.

                                                        John Spencer

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