Sierra leone Diaspora healthcare group task force

Opening: H. E, Ambassador Bockarie Stevens, welcome the members of the task force to the meeting, held at the ambassador residence in Washington, DC. He furthered that this is an unofficial meeting and the first for the group and wish for all to feel relax and contribute to the discussions as it is important that this group be effective and be comprehensive in order to develop practical objectives to work on.

The ambassador recanted the requests from the last two meetings at the embassy by attendees and gave a synopsis of the Friday telephone conference call that was held and attended by over 34people. The Ambassador, welcome members again and extended his deep appreciation and wish for the group. 

The ambassador requested that a one minute silence be observed for prayer and then introduced Dr. Dembe and asked that he chaired the occasion as the wish of the embassy is for the task force be spearheaded by the health care professionals while the embassy coordinate the affairs of the committee.

Dr. Dembe opened up the discussion with the role of the elements of task force, the medical, nursing and epidemiologist, logistics, NGO liaison, community liaison, database and IT management and embassy as equal elements in the task force with separate tasks and responsibilities to be represented within the task force by forming and coordinating their independent constituency needs, capacity, programs to ensure effectiveness and harmony.

The ambassador mentioned that the embassy is talking with Genevive from Harvard and that a tentative meeting with the Harvard group to be held on 09/12/14, probably at 5:00pm at the embassy but not yet confirmed. The meeting will most likely be inclusive of representation from John Hopkins and George Washington University. The details of the purpose and objectives are not yet confirmed but a questionnaire from the Harvard group is expected this Tuesday and will be shared with the task force. 

Dr. Dembe also mentioned the WHO GORAM program as one to be researched and see if the embassy can make a special request to WHO program for Sierra Leone health care professionals recruitment in to the Program because of the special circumstances and needs faced by the country with the Ebola crisis. This, the task force aggress will help in renumeration, and compensation of Sierra leone health care cadres willing and capable to be trained and deployed in Sierra Leone to aide in filling the gaps and training of Sierra leone cadres. Also, Dr. Diallo added that this will ease the burden of the task force wondering how to compensate and deploy diaspora healthcare volunteers and that the role then of the task force will be to collaborate with other institutions like the Harvard, john Hopkins and Goerge Washington groups to see if their endowments will help funding and training of identified diaspora volunteers. This will be critical in meeting the current capacity challenge in the country.

Ms. khadijah Diallo representing the nursing element of the task force shared that they have been doing fund raising drives to raise funds and collect PPEs for shipment. Her group will take the liberty to reach out to the various Sierra leone nursing groups to determine need areas to be focused on, training materials, and develop database of Sierra Leone nurses in the united states and north America and a pool of volunteers for deployment.

Dr. Dembe and the ambassador praised the nursing team and encourage to continue their work and try to focus around core areas as the country will need over 200 nurses by December to bring this crises to a halt and rotae over 100 doctors, epidemiologists and lab technicians. Dr. dembe provided an excellent visual depiction of the task force and how it's structure and function essentially should work to realize it's objectives which the group and the ambassador agreed will ensure harmony and effective collaboration and delivery toward the targeted outcomes.

Ms. Susan Hoefling stated that she has been working with various NGOs and have written letters to government officials in the U.S but lack a backing like the embassy to give it the spine needed to get a response which the ambassador said the embassy is here to support the task force with every credible and vetted request and she has the full backing of the embassy. Ms. Hoefling will work with ms. Bernadette Kamara on an NGO list and plan to reach out to major potential donors both financial and in kind toward the Ebola crisis on behalf of the task force.

The task force determined the following

Vision statement: 

A comprehensive and robust coordination of Diaspora responses and resources to effectively curb and reverse the sierra leone Ebola crisis. 

Collaborate with the EOC, MOHS, and IDAs to ensure effective management of resources in the fight against the Ebola crisis. 

Set up a task force to begin discussing diaspora role to design, develop, and coordinate resources toward planning and building health care infrastructures, capacity, and training needs in post ebola Sierra Leone

Mission: Leverage diaspora resources in an urgent response to support healthcare cadres, financing and training in Sierra leone by diaspora Sierra Leoneans in north America to end the Ebola crisis and rebuild the health care system


Capacity planning, deployment and coordination

Financing of programs thru fund raising

Identify potential international and national partners to the Ebola fight and in long term planning of the Sierra leone health care system

Collect PPEs from various resources

Reach out to political authorities in the U.S to help in the cause

Reach out to major manufacturers of PPEs, disinfectant, logistic and transport organizations, hospitals and NGOs to partner in the cause

Develop training modules for the various elements and reach out to constituents of the elements to own and manage their various sections.

Determine all stakeholders from the task force and beyond and roles


Areas of focus

Primary: capacity recruitment, training and deployment. Training and standard operating procedure Modules, and financing.

Secondary: PPEs, logistics, professional support, management and experience sharing.


First and second ladies

Clorox And disinfectant manufacturers, 400 gallons

PPEs -50,000 hemorragic fever contaminants in view of the expansion of the disease and need for new centers. 50 ambulances, incineration vehicles and mobile labs

Delaware governor

Fedex, UPS, DHL, Amazon

Major teaching hospitals, WHO, Genevive, Harvard group


The task force is organized as a lean, horizontal model structure essentially to effectively harmonize it's elements productively and efficiently. It's is meant to link the task force with the EOC and MOHS and IDPs as an interlocutor of the diaspora and it's constituent groups to effectively manage and coordinate diaspora resources to support the ongoing fight to contain the Ebola crisis. The embassy and the task force are working diligently to identify and secure the interest of two champions in this fight to give it the spine and face needed to attract the funding needed for immediate containment of the Ebola crisis in the country and sub region in partnership with IDPs.

Dr. Dembe. Will follow up with WHO and H.E ambassador Stevens will follow up with the Harvard group and share with the task force.

Ms. Bernadette will be working on updating the media and electronic links to the web site for more exposure of task force and Ebola issues to the public. Ms. Hoefling will work on broad spectrum NGO list and liase back to task force.

Dr. Diallo will start research on logistics and work with NGO on reaching out to potential donors. 

Every element of the group should provide their development to the group and the database/ IT element and embassy should coordinate archiving, dissemination and follow up on resources. hopefully, a group, list serve or forum will be created by the IT person to circulate information and deliverables.

The ambassadors and their staff once more thanked the team for their attendance, contribution and selfless professional and intellectual contribution to the cause. The contributions today were very specific and is what's needed and the ambassador and staff were pleased and will give it's support fully to the task force in realizing the objectives set up here today.

Submitted by Dr. Diallo on behalf of the task force.