With God anything is possible Mark 10:27
Alistair and I will be travelling to Sierra Leone at end of this week and we value your prayers for our safety and for opportunities to build a partnership with the people there. Jacob’s Well Appeal would like to work further in Sierra Leone and it is important that we are wise as to what we should do. We sent a container to Sierra Leone at the end of last year after visiting the mayor of Freetown, the capital city, in Hull (which is twinned with Freetown). We will visit the hospitals that received the aid to see what use it has been and whether we can help with further medical aid. We will also be visiting agricultural projects and a school for autism. Sierra Leone suffered a civil war from 1991 to 2001 and was then devastated by the Ebola virus epidemic which started in May 2014; the country was eventually declared Ebola free in March 2016 with 8,706 cases and 3,956 deaths according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Up to 40% of farms had been abandoned in the worst Ebola hit areas and it has taken a heavy toll on the already scare health workforce. Health workers were 20-30 times more likely to be infected and two-thirds of those infected died. They were also left very traumatised and fearful. Following this, on the 14th August 2017 a significant mudslide occurred in the capital city of Freetown. After 3 days of torrential rainfall a massive mudslide damaged or destroyed hundreds of buildings in the city killing 1,141 people and leaving 3,000 homeless.
Sierra Leone has a population of 7,000,000 with a life expectancy of 46 years at birth (afro.who) and has the world’s highest estimated maternal mortality ratio – women in Sierra Leone have a 1 in 17 lifetime risk of dying due to pregnancy or childbirth. Maternal deaths count for 36% of all deaths among women aged 15-49 and infant mortality is very high at around 89 per 1000 live births. This is a country that desperately needs our help.