Monday, November 23, 2009

Public Health Today in Sierra Leone (or the lack thereof)

Although health care was marginal at best during my time in Sierra Leone (there was very little money available - the doctors were overburdened with making do with very little and working with very little in the way of support - technology was very remote from the country - people had little reliance on modern medicine upcountry - conditions at government hospitals were always under stress - perhaps the best hospitals in those days were the mission hospitals). This article gives an unfortunate picture of what health care is like today in Sierra Leone. How very sad it is indeed. This article was kindly sent to me by Allieu B. Massaquoi (he hails from Kenema - attended Kenema Secondary School and then went on to Boston University. I believe he now has an advanced degree in health). This article is tragically sad.

10 comments:

Bill said...

Good Evening Chad:
Do you have an email address for Alieu?
We went to BU together in the 70s?

by Chad Finer said...

yes - Allieu's email address as I last knew it is:



allieubm@yahoo.com

Bill said...

Thank you for the information. I have been trying to locate him for a while.

by Chad Finer said...

How did you know Allieu at BU?

Bill said...

I ran on the track team. He was already a graduate student working on his doctorate. We became friends. I lost track of him after I graduated.

by Chad Finer said...

I also ran at BU - coach Billy Smith and Larry Cafarella were the coaches - I did a little of everything in those days (sprints - Long Jump - 600 indoors - quarter out doors - relay) but an injury (hamstring) finished my career. Dave Hemery was a teammate then
Happy Holidays - hope you reach Allieu - he is somewhat hard to reach even by email

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Bill said...

Good Morning and Happy Holidays.
Small world, you had quite a team back then with Allieu and Dave. I am in the class of 1977. My senior year was Dave's first year as coach. I am not sure how Allieu and became friend. I just remember he was a good guy. He took me on a lot of long runs. He qualified again for the 76 games and ivited me as a guest, but the African naitons boycotted, due to the New Zealand Rugby team, playing S. Africa. I was at marathon sports in Cambridge in November and asked the manager about Allieu. He said he thinks he has a grandson that runs. I left my contact info with him and also with the asst. Coach at BU.
Where are you now?
If you ever hear from him please tell him that Bill Meredith is looking to get in touch.
Thanks

Bill said...

I proofed and in re-reading so many spelling errors. We get so used to spellcheck.

by Chad Finer said...

Hi,
Actually Allieu was not at BU until 1971 I think. By that time I had graduated (1968). I met Allieu in Africa where I was a Peace Corps volunteer in his home town (Kenema) - I knew most of his family and had watched him run a few races. I was able to reach Coach Smith who was interested in Allieu and I think Coach Smith was able to get him a scholarship. I think John Thomas was also coaching at BU at that time. Anyway - Allieu finished high school at the Kenema Government School an went directly to Boston - and had a degree of culture adjustment problems not to mention climate adjustment problems. My family came from Brookline - I think my mother helped him out in those first few years. Allieu did well at BU both on the track and in school. I think he could have done better but without belittling Coach Smith who was the best of coaches in New England - I don't think that Smitty ever really understood the African mind (if there is such a saying) and I think most of Allieu's talent was not met.
I returned from Sierra Leone in 1972 - to Vermont and have lived there ever since. I went to Dartmouth Medical School (1976) and have been an ER doctor evesince although in the last year I have gone to part-time. I still have family in Boston and get there from time to time.
My blogs are attempts to reconnect with old friends, reconnect with old students from my years in Africa, to connect folks with others who have interest, and to digitize my photos before they fade for good. From the two blogs on Sierra Leone you can follow what we were up to...some have found this interesting.
From time to time I continue new postings especially on this site. It is from this blog that I have heard from other Peace Corps volunteers, mothers of volunteers, etc. In fact sveral volunteers have had connections with Allieu when they were in his country - this includes a coach of his when he was in secondary school.
Nice hearing from you. Best wishes

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Bill said...

This is so interesting.It is a pleasure to meet you. I went to BU in 73 and Allieu was not on the team then. As they say the world is round. At a certain level he kind of treated myself and a couple of my non-running friends as little brothers. Of course we ran together, but he also invited us to his house and helped us get jobs in dorm security. We had some good runners on the team back then, but due to what I would imagine as University politics,we did not get the full Smitty treatment. I understand he still comes around at times. JT was the assistant coach then. I somehow think Allieu might have mentioned your mother as a help to him. I hope he is well.