Scholarships

We provide scholarships to qualified health care workers in Sierra Leone enabling them to join advanced trainings in surgery, obstetrics, pediatrics or internal medicin. 

Mission

Under the name of the Wouter Nolet Scholarship Fund (WNSF) the Wouter Nolet Foundation (WNF) supports health care  programs, including advanced trainings, task-sharing applications and outreach programs.

Goals

  • To provide scholarships to pre-selected health care workers who want to follow pre-selected advanced trainings.
  • To join outreach programs which aim to increase utilisation of health services by the people in rural areas in Sierra Leone.

Vision

WNF foresees a tremendous need of 2nd level assistance to medical doctors in Sierra Leone. By training health care workers to become assistant surgeon, obstetrician, pediatrician or doctor of internal medicine, the number of skilled staff at the hospital can be increased. This will ultimately lead to a form of task shifting/sharing of medical tasks from qualified medical doctors to practitioners.

WNF also sees a huge gap in the outreach of health care to hard-to-reach villages and the crucial role of local community officers in the execution of health care services in the field.

Benefits

We do this for the benefit of Sierra Leone’s poorly funded healthcare system. Sierra Leone is 182nd out of the 189 countries on the Human Development Index ranking. More than half of the population lives below the poverty-line, with large and increasing inequality. Sierra Leone has only 245 doctors for a population of 7.5 million inhabitants. That amounts to 0.033 per 1000 inhabitants. In comparison, Holland has 3.3 doctors per 1000 inhabitants. That is 100 times as many.

Assistant Surgeon

CapaCare is a Norwegian humanitarian, non-profit organization, dedicated to medical education and training in developing countries. In collaboration with the Ministry of Health and Sanitation (MoHS), CapaCare started a Surgical Training Program (STP) in 2011 with the goal of supporting the hospitals in rural areas in Sierra Leone.

Backgrounds

By training health care workers to become assistant surgeon, the number of skilled staff at the theatre in hospitals can be increased. CapaCare foresaw that this will ultimately lead to a form of shifting/ sharing of medical tasks from qualified doctors to trained practitioners.

Evidence has shown that these trained practisioners are more likely to return to their homeland and serve in regional hospitals. This is crucial as many health professionals prefer to work in urban areas like Freetown. Employing, and more importantly retaining, of surgical capacity in rural areas become more and more  difficult.

Allowance

The monthly allowance covers the personal costs of the student, including housing, study materials, food, travel and a one time tablet. School fees are not included. They are carried by the advanced trainings themselves.  The scholarship applies in principle to the entire period of the 3-year advanced training.

The sponsored student has to sign a Terms and Conditions Document in which he declares to be prepared to work in hospitals in rural areas in Sierra Leone for at least three years. The Fund reserves the right to stop the scholarship in case the student does not meet certain study achievements. 

Students sponsored

The following 2 Clinical Health Officers (CHO’s) were selected in October 2021 and received a scholarship for the 3-year Surgical Training of CapaCare.

Sheka Mohammed Kamara

Age: 33

Current qualification: Community Health Officer (CHO)

Current place of work: MSF Hangha Hospital

An interview with Sheka can be found here.

Abdulai Moriba Lahun

Age: 26

Current qualification: Clinical Officer (CO)

Current place of work: MSF Hangha Hospital

An interview with Abdulai can be found here.