By Alfred Koroma
In honour of Women’s History Month and International Women’s Day, Bespoke Global Health Initiatives (BGHI) Co-founders Dr. Angie Strickland and nurse practitioner, Nicole Brassington along with a team of health professionals from the US, partnered with West End Clinic to offer free health screening to over 780 girls, women and children in the Race Course Community, Cline Town.
The free health screening focused mainly on high cholesterol, high blood pressure, diabetes, HIV, and malaria of which malaria and HIV were discovered prévalent.
Symptomatic illnesses like hpylori (ulcer) allergies, and asthma were also treated.
Concord Times spoke to some of the beneficiaries who expressed appreciation for the free health service rendered to them.
Seventy-year old Fatmata Sesay, one of the beneficiaries, has been suffering from severe bone pains, cough and ulcer for couple of years. Speaking to Concord Times, madam Sesay expressed happiness that she was given treatment for all the illness she complained about, adding that the medical advice and drugs she received from BGHI brought her some hope.
“They gave me medicines for pain, cold, cough, appetite, ulcer. They gave me medicine for all the problems I complained about,” the septuagenarian health explained.
Another beneficiary, Jeneba Conteh 46, said the drugs she received from BGHI have saved her one hundred and fifty thousand Leones (Le150, 000) she often take from her six hundred thousand Leones (Le600,000) salary to spend on her medication every month.
Also, 52-year old Jalikatu Bah, another beneficiary, only became aware that she is having high blood pressure for the first time after her screening by the BGHI medical team.
Bah said she’s been strong and able to do her work, but she hasn’t been really feeling well not knowing that high blood pressure was the reason behind her ill feeling. She thanked the Doctors for the treatment and for helping her know her health status.
Speaking to the press during the event, Dr. Angelina Strickland said they were unable to give the beneficiaries a lifetime of medical supplies but gave them enough to get started and to follow up with West End Clinic.
“Our hope is that from what they’ve learned about their health, they can receive appropriate treatment and go on living more healthful lives,” she added.
The health screening is part of BGHI’s quest to build and to provide a better, and a more accessible health-care system in Sierra Leone. The health screening is also the first of the many upcoming initiatives from the organization that will be announced soon. BGHI founders are also planning to open a clinic in Freetown and to offer the women entrepreneurs of the city support and platforms to tell their stories.
« We’re from Kentucky but have always been inspired by the global impact of the Black diaspora. That’s why in addition to having health screenings, we feel it’s important to give opportunities for women like us to experience more aspects of Black and African culture,” says Dr. Strickland. “We’re thrilled to have a small delegation of women from our home state joining us in this effort as well.”
Furthering their quest for wellness, mental health, empowerment and female entrepreneurship, screening, BGHI will visit Sierra Leone School for the Blind to make donations in the wake of the unfortunate fire incident at the school. The donations will include cash, braille books, reusable sanitary pads and other supplies. BGHI will also participate in a mental health workshop to help raise awareness, share knowledge and try to help women especially young girls in local communities; heal them from trauma, abuse and other forms of violence.
BGHI is a non-profit organization founded by US Nurse Practitioner, and Dr. Angelina Strickland. The organization is dedicated to changing the world by empowering young women with health literacy, wellness and self-confidence.
The organization is also working on to partnering with existing (Sierra Leonean) organizations to create initiatives from health screen tests, food security, empowerment etc. that will run over a specific period of time, helping young girls and women through entrepreneurship support, food security and access to health care in Sierra Leone.