We believe that harnessing community partnerships and respecting local knowledge are essential to understanding and addressing healthcare disparities in Kono District. Our approach uses nuanced research, humility, and sensitivity to local needs and values to maximize the quality and impact of our work.
Local knowledge. Our patients possess deep knowledge of their communities that no visitor can match. Wellbody appreciates this as a valuable resource and consults with community contacts, inside and outside of the clinic, for advice and expertise throughout the process of designing, implementing and improving our programs. We seek to understand our patients’ priorities as well as their assessments of their own needs and use this information to guide our efforts.
Local Staff. With the exception of our medical director, every member of our 150 person in-country staff is Sierra Leonean, and most work in the towns and villages in which they live. Local hiring strengthens the bonds between Wellbody and the people it serves -- the patients who attend our clinic are treated by their friends, relatives, and neighbors. This also ensures that we are developing the human resource capacity within Kono District--perhaps the most important determinant of Kono’s health statistics.
Partnership with local government and NGOs. In each community where we work, Wellbody coordinates with community members and leaders, including village councils, chiefs, and respected elders. Their input in the development of our strategies and support of our programs is crucial for our success. Wellbody also partners local NGOs to ensure that programming is complementary and not redundant.
Partnership with the public healthcare system. In much of Sierra Leone, the public healthcare system--often the only healthcare available to Sierra Leoneans-- is in devestated condition. Wellbody builds public sector capacity through our partnership with the local hospital and government-run clinics, and endeavors boost infrastructure and human capacity at all facilities.