Taste of Africa 2023
Rural Health Care Initiative Blog
by Carol Nelson
1M ago
Music and dance reverberated from the banquet room in Brooklyn Park where RHCI held its major fundraising event of the year, Taste of Africa, on October 22, 2023.   Special guests from outside of Minnesota included Alice Karpeh (RHCI Founder, now living in Sierra Leone), RHCI Board members Lamin Foray (Ohio) , Maggie Pilacinski (Colorado), and Riley DeLude (Chicago, Illinois).  Other out of state guests were Sheri and Steve Miliano (St. Louis), Kevin Dowling (Colorado) and Nick Gaines (Illinois). Thank you to everyone who attended, volunteered and participated in this successful eve ..read more
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Inspiring Initiatives: Unique Fundraisers Making a Difference for Rural Health Care Initative
Rural Health Care Initiative Blog
by Maggie
3M ago
In a world that constantly seeks innovative ways to give back, the Rural Health Care Initiative (RHCI) stands out for its unwavering dedication to improving maternal and child health care in Sierra Leone. RHCI’s mission is not only supported by traditional methods but also by the passion and creativity of individuals who organize unique fundraisers. Here are a few heartwarming stories that showcase the power of community, compassion, and determination. Nick and his dad after biking 500 miles Nick Gaines’ 500-Mile Bike Race for RHCI- Nick after 500 miles of biking In the heart of Iowa, N ..read more
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Riding for a Cause: 500 Miles to Improve Healthcare in Sierra Leone
Rural Health Care Initiative Blog
by Maggie
5M ago
My name is Nick Gaines, and I am a Returned Peace Corps Volunteer that served in Sierra Leone from June 2019 to March 2020, at which point we were evacuated due to the Covid-19 pandemic. I was an Education Volunteer and taught English and Math at FAWE, the all-girls Junior Secondary School in Tikonko. My partner, Riley DeLude, and I applied to the Peace Corps as a couple, and she was a Public Health Volunteer. Much of her work involved working closely with Rural Health Care Initiative (RHCI) on health initiatives at partnering clinics and outreach programs.  FAWE students Having witness ..read more
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Midwife Kits from Direct Relief Arrive in Tikonko
Rural Health Care Initiative Blog
by Carol Nelson
6M ago
Midwife kits, with supplies for 400 deliveries, arrived in Tikonko in early June via the Lungi airport. Ground transportation was arranged by RHCI’s in-country director Manley Jongopie to deliver the kits 160 miles in-land to RHCI’s headquarters at the Mbao-mi Mothers’ Home in Tikonko. These kits will be distributed to the Tikonko and Gondama Community Health Centers for the licensed midwives to use for childbirth.  Having access to supplies and equipment make it possible to deliver a much higher standard of care and, in the process, save lives of mothers and babies. Direct Relief works ..read more
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Peace Corps Volunteer Experiences with RHCI
Rural Health Care Initiative Blog
by Maggie
8M ago
Riley and Nick My name is Riley DeLude and I am a Returned Peace Corps Volunteer that served in Sierra Leone from June 2019 to March 2020, at which point we were evacuated due to the Covid-19 pandemic. My partner, Nick Gaines, and I applied to the Peace Corps as a couple, and he was an Education Volunteer, while I was a Public Health Volunteer. As a Public Health Volunteer, I was based out of the Tikonko Community Health Center (CHC), essentially a small government-run clinic that serves 42 villages. Serving such a large population, this was a very busy CHC. Working there Monday through Frid ..read more
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Good News!!! More Mothers are surviving!
Rural Health Care Initiative Blog
by Carol Nelson
8M ago
Pictured:  Pregnant women at Gondama Birth Waiting Home in February 2023 With Mother’s Day in May, RHCI has cause for celebration! Sierra Leone was among the top three countries in the African region with the highest maternal mortality rates in 2017.  The maternal mortality rate in Sierra Leone (one of the highest in the world) has dropped 60 % from 1120/100,000 births in 2017 to 443/100,000 in 2020.  This is biggest success of any country reported in Africa. Though still high and much work to be continued, this is a major improvement.  By comparison, in the USA the rate i ..read more
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A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words
Rural Health Care Initiative Blog
by Carol Nelson
8M ago
Helping Babies Breathe (HBB) Trainings were held at both the Mbao-mi Mothers’ Home in Tikonko and at the Gondama Birth Waiting Home in February. Far left:   RHCI nurse Maria Songa practices bag/mask ventilation on the Neonatalie doll; Above Right:  Midwife Aminata Kabba practices ventilation, a very important skill in resuscitating a newborn. Below:   Tikonko HBB Class Feb. 14 and  Gondama HBB Class Feb. 22, 2023 Below:  Two of the Community Health Workers at the Gondama Birth Waiting Home are preparing dinner for the pregnant women and staff. Seven talente ..read more
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Help Bring More Solar to Sierra Leone!
Rural Health Care Initiative Blog
by Carol Nelson
8M ago
  Pictured:  Zainab and Hannah at Kassama with solar charger for phones donated by Solar Kits for Change. Solar lights, solar charging panels, a solar drip irrigation, and rechargeable headlamps were among the items generously donated by Solar Kits for Change (solarkitsforchange.org) to Rural Health Care Initiative’s operations in the Tikonko Chiefdom, delivered by the February team from Minnesota. With no electricity or unreliable electricity in the Tikonko Chiefdom, these devices will benefit RHCI’s programs and people with whom RHCI partners.  Having light at night and havin ..read more
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Impact of One Day’s Wages Grant
Rural Health Care Initiative Blog
by Carol Nelson
9M ago
Nurse Saffie (Pictured above) walked through the village of Gondama on a very hot February day with the mission of locating young children who were behind on their childhood vaccines and other preventive care.  Carrying the cooler provided by UNICEF, Saffie was stocked with vaccines, Vitamin A to prevent Vitamin A deficiency and Albendazole (deworming medication). It didn’t take long to locate a family with young children needing these preventive treatments:  vaccines to prevent vaccine-preventable disease such as measles and pneumonia, plus the every 6 month doses of albendazole an ..read more
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The “gift” of a “chance” meeting
Rural Health Care Initiative Blog
by Marie Stodolka
9M ago
Written by Neil Craigan Sitting on the back of Joseph’s motorcycle we pulled into the Community Health Centre (CHC) at Gondoma. We had been travelling around the chiefdom visiting numerous Community Health Centres and smaller Peripheral Health Units. I assumed this would be another short visit with the in-charge to hear about the work that was taking place and we would soon be on our way. I could not have been more wrong, Tuesday, 8th January 2019 proved to be a pivotal day in my life, the life of Joseph, and the work of Rural Health Care Initiative. On that day, four years ago, I met Aminata ..read more
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