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. 

What

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

How

  • To provide scholarships to qualified health care workers in Sierra Leone who want to follow an advanced medical training in surgery, obstetrics, paediatrics or internal medicine.
  • To join outreach programs that aim to improve maternal health care in rural areas in Sierra Leone.

Why

Inspired by CapaCare who set up a surgical task sharing program in Sierra Leone to fill the gap in HR between medical doctors and assistants, WNF believes that, training the middle man is one of the best ways to support the health care system in this kind of countries.

By training the middle man, the number of skilled staff at (regional) hospitals can be increased. This will ultimately lead to a form of shifting/sharing of tasks between qualified medical doctors and assistants.

Loyalty

Evidence has shown that these assistants do not immediately run away after graduation, chasing  better opportunities abroad. When starting these trainings their main motivation seems to be to save lives of their own families and neighbours. And they clearly expressed willingness to return to their homeland and serve in regional hospitals.

Advanced Training

The Norwegian NGO CapaCare, dedicated to medical education and training in developing countries, has originally developed a task sharing advanced training program in basic life-saving  surgery and obstetrics for health care workers in Sierra Leone.

In the same way, two other NGO’s (one from Germany and one from USA) have developed a similar advanced training program, each for different streams: paediatrics by German Doctors and internal medicin by Partners in Health.

The weakness of these advanced trainings is that students -after graduation- get a diploma and may only operate under the supervision of a medical doctor. That is ultimately not leading to an optimal task sharing performance.

Bachelor’s Degree

Therefore, the three NGO’s have agreed to integrate their 3-year advanced trainings into the 2-year foundational instruction of the School of Clinical Science in Makeni (SCSM).

As a result thereof, a new curriculum of comprehensive, high-quality advanced medical trainings has emerged that produce qualified clinical officers, graduated with a bachelor’s degree and equipped with an operating license of the Medical Identical Council in Sierra Leone. They will have a higher cadre: operating independently, better salary and protection in case of accusation.

Allowance

The monthly compensation that WNSF pays covers the personal costs of the student, including food, study materials, computer, communication and transport. Accomodation and school fees are carried by the NGO’s of the advanced trainings. The scholarship applies in principle to the entire period of the 3-year 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.