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Pressemitteilungen Sartorius supports midwifery school in Sierra Leone

The midwifery school in Sierra Leone is currently in its fifth year of classes.

The midwifery school in Sierra Leone is currently in its fifth year of classes. © action medeor/ E.Fey

Sierra Leone in West Africa has one of the highest maternal mortality rates in the world. In an effort to improve this situation on the ground, medical aid organization action medeor partnered with the local Caritas Sierra Leone organization four years ago to open a midwifery school in the Bo District of the country’s Southern Province.

The school has now received generous financial assistance from Germany: Sartorius, a leading international partner of life science research and the biopharmaceutical industry, is supporting the project with a 100,000 euro contribution as part of its “Donations Instead of Gifts” initiative that foregoes Christmas presents for customers and business partners.

“By improving midwifery training, the project is making an important and sustainable contribution to the promotion of healthcare for mothers and their newborns,” says Petra Kirchhoff, Head of Corporate Communications at Sartorius. Scientific findings have shown that access to midwifery services can make a significant impact in reducing maternal mortality in low-income countries like Sierra Leone.

Sartorius has engaged with action medeor in a social partnership for the past six years. During this time, the Göttingen-based company has supported projects run by the medical aid organization in Northern Iraq, Yemen, DR Congo and Tanzania. “Sartorius has been committed to help provide people in developing countries with access to medicines and healthcare since 2015,” says Sid Peruvemba, CEO of action medeor. “This continuity is impressive. And it has become all the more important in the current coronavirus times, as the health and economic impacts of the pandemic has hit he people in the Global South particularly hard,” he explains.

The project in Sierra Leone focuses primarily on the principle of “helping people to help themselves”. While the midwifery school provides training for local women, it does much more. As part of the project, it also offers practical training in various teaching hospitals throughout the country to qualify their in-house trainees. Furthermore, two rural health facilities are converted into mother-and-child emergency centers with appropriate equipment to alleviate the shortage of skilled midwives in rural areas.

During the project period, a total of 350 women will be trained as midwives, 95 practicing midwives will be upskilled as instructors, and five teachers at the midwifery school will receive continuing professional development and education. The skills thus gained by the local teaching and healthcare staff will be passed on to benefit the people in Sierra Leone for the long term.


About the German medical aid organization action medeor e.V.

As the largest medical aid organization in Europe, action medeor has worked for sustainable and improved healthcare for people especially in the poorest regions of the world for almost 60 years now.

Based in Tönisvorst on the Lower Rhine, the charitable, non-governmental organization supplies medical aid to healthcare facilities in around 100 countries across Africa, Latin America and Asia. In emergencies, action medeor is able to dispatch vital medicines, medical supplies and equipment to the relevant countries within a few hours.

In addition to emergency and disaster relief, action medeor works with local partner organizations to implement health projects with focus on effective prevention, diagnosis and treatment. As part of its pharmaceutical advisory services, action medeor trains health professionals, establishes research laboratories and supports the quality assurance and control of medicines worldwide. action medeor is a member of the Aktion Deutschland Hilft, the German coalition of renowned relief aid organizations.

A profile of Sartorius

The Sartorius Group is a leading international partner of life science research and the biopharmaceutical industry. With innovative laboratory instruments and consumables, the Group’s Lab Products & Services Division concentrates on serving the needs of laboratories performing research and quality control at pharma and biopharma companies and those of academic research institutes. The Bioprocess Solutions Division with its broad product portfolio focusing on single-use solutions helps customers to manufacture biotech medications and vaccines safely and efficiently. The Group has been annually growing by double digits on average and has been regularly expanding its portfolio by acquisitions of complementary technologies. In fiscal 2020, the company earned sales revenue of some 2.34 billion euros. At the end of 2020, nearly 11,000 people were employed at the Group’s approximately 60 manufacturing and sales sites, serving customers around the globe.