An expectant mother stands outside of a maternal waiting home in Sierra Leone.

A Bold Solution
to a Maternal Health Crisis
in Sierra Leone

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An "Awesome" Partnership for Good

For nearly 10 years, authors and vlogbrothers John and Hank Green have been supporting the work of Partners In Health through their yearly fundraiser, Project for Awesome. The Greens and PIH have found common ground in our shared belief that long-term, systemic investment is the only way to bring about sustained change within the world’s poorest communities.

After reading a 2017 New Yorker profile on PIH Co-founder Ophelia Dahl, the Green family was inspired to fight maternal mortality in Sierra Leone, where 1 in 17 women run the risk of dying in pregnancy or childbirth. John and Sarah Green traveled to Sierra Leone in April 2019 to better understand what was needed to improve maternal health care in Kono District, where PIH supports Wellbody Clinic and Koidu Government Hospital. They came away convinced of the need to strengthen the health system, and impressed by the strides PIH has already made since 2014.

In the video above, John Green discusses maternal mortality in Sierra Leone and explains why he, his brother, Hank, and their family have chosen to support PIH in improving the local health care system to address this crisis. (Video by John Green)

Pregnant Women Face a Dire Situation

Sierra Leone
at a Glance


Sierra Leone has one of the highest maternal mortality ratios in the world, making it one of the most dangerous places to give birth.

We believe no woman should die giving life.

Responding to a Maternal Health Emergency

Koidu Government Hospital is becoming a model for quality maternal care in Sierra Leone

Koidu Government Hospital is becoming a model for quality maternal health care in Sierra Leone. (Photo by John Ra / Partners In Health)

PIH refuses to accept that women should die in childbirth.

With the Ministry of Health, PIH began improving the maternal care available at Koidu Government Hospital. The facility now has 24-hour electricity to support C-sections, a blood bank to respond to post-partum hemorrhages, and a fully stocked pharmacy in labor and delivery. Clinicians also receive trainings to improve their skills and provide better care to patients.

With the Greens’ support, PIH will continue and expand this transformative work so that every pregnant woman can look forward to childbirth as a moment to celebrate, not one to fear.

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Patients await maternal health appointments outside PIH-supported Wellbody Clinic. (Photo by Emma Minor / Partners In Health)

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