conclusion

I was finally able to talk to a few patients before leaving Sierra Leone. I will have personally been disappointing if my research did not include the perspectives of patients because they are very important part of the health care delivery system.

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Ministry of Health and Sanitiation

This week was the week where I was able to interview policy makers who make the decisions that currently impact the health care delivery system. My research this week took me to the Youyi Building. The Youyi Building is one of Sierra Leone’s most important administrative government buildings. The Youyi Building houses the most important government ministries such as Department of Forestry and Mining and Department of Health and Sanitation.

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World Health Organization

My research has been progressing well. I have interviewed doctors and nurses, but I still have not been able to interview any patients.  This is going to be a huge hurdle for my research as I am trying to get all the perspectives of individuals that are involved in the health care delivery system—and patients are a huge part of that system.  Patients refuse to sign my forms; either because they have never signed a form before or they feel like they are giving me permission to abuse the information they tell me. No matter how much I try to explain to patients the true nature of my research, I have not been successful in convincing them to talk to me.

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King Harman Road Hosptial

It was a Monday morning, and I received a call from my community partner. She notified me that she has arranged for me to visit a hospital and gather data. I was beyond ecstatic. The hospital was King Harman Road, and King Harman Road became the first hospital I visited in Sierra Leone. King Harman is a government run hospital. I walked into King Harman Road, and immediately I was shocked.  I knew Sierra Leone is a third world country, and the hospital conditions were going to be bad, but King Harman Road still shocked me. The first thing I noticed when I walked into the hospital was the heat. The heat was so powerful that within a minute of entering the hospital, I was soaked in sweat. The next thing I noticed was the hospital lights were on. I later found out that most government hospitals in Freetown have 24 hours light. As I walked through the patient wards, I saw fans in each ward but none of them were on. I wondered to myself why they were not on. I went through the wards, hoping at least one patient will want to talk to me but none wanted to talk to me.  I was also forbidden by the hospital to take any pictures.

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First week in Sierra leone

My research started out very rocky. I arrived at the Dulles airport only to be notified that Brussels Airline workers were on strike.  Airport officials told me that my suitcase will not arrive with me in Freetown and they did not know when my luggage would arrive. I arrived in Freetown, and for a whole week I was without a suitcase. I had to borrow clothes from family members, and I could not officially begin my research until my suitcase arrived because all my research equipment was in my suitcases.

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