The Washington Post Highlights PIH’s Maternal Health Work in Sierra Leone

Features young patient’s successful journey—from pregnancy to birth

Posted on May 11, 2022

Isata Dumbuya gives a presentation
Susan Lebbie had a comprehensive clinical care team who provided support throughout her entire pregnancy. Among the team was Isata Dumbuya, director of reproductive, maternal, neonatal and child health at Partners in Health in Sierra Leone. Dumbuya was also featured in the recent Washington Post story, which highlighted maternal health work in the country. Dumbuya is pictured above, giving a community-based presentation in Kono District in November 2019. Photo by Emma Minor/Partners In Health

Early on in her pregnancy, 17-year-old Susan Lebbie sought medical care at Partners In Health (PIH)-supported Koidu Government Hospital. After encouragement from a neighbor, she strived to be proactive as possible in seeking care, to avoid the many challenges her loved ones, as well as many other women in Sierra Leone, faced during pregnancy–significant loss of blood and lack of access to affordable resources, to name a couple.

Lebbie’s journey, which led to the birth of a healthy baby boy, was recently featured in The Washington Post. The article, published on May 6, highlights the importance of adequately staffed facilities, such as Koidu Government Hospital, which provide high-quality care in a country where one in 20 women die as a result of pregnancy or childbirth.

Lebbie was well-aware of that risk. Her mother died giving birth to her. But, her own birth experience was successful.

“If Susan had hemorrhaged in surgery, she could have needed up to four units of blood. But the doctor said her C-section had gone “flawlessly.” No transfusion required,” writes Danielle Paquette, The Washington Post’s West Africa bureau chief. “The two obstetrician-gynecologists here, both Partners In Health employees from Uganda, were known for working more than they slept. Susan’s doctor had started his day at 5 a.m. and finished four C-sections before getting to her.”

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Maternal health is a key focus area for Partners In Health in Sierra Leone—read The Washington Post's story highlighting that work.

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