EVENT UPDATE!!! NEW LOCATION FOR ST. PETE EVENT!
NURSE MARY KOROMA SPEAKS IN ST. PETERSBURG, FL –MAY 2nd, 2012 — 6:30 PM
LOCATION: 1100 FIRST AVE NORTH, DAVIDSON FINE ART
(green building on the corner, parking available)
On May 2nd, Nurse Midwife Mary Koroma will be speaking at 1100 First Ave. North, Davidson Fine Art in St.Petersburg, FL for the “Africa’s Future in African Hands” tour.
Don’t miss your opportunity to hear Nurse Mary’s powerful testimony of the struggle to overturn the grave conditions faced by African people in Sierra Leone, West Africa!
As the Director of the Sierra Leone branch of the All African People’s Development & Empowerment Project (AAPDEP-SL), Nurse Mary leads the AAPDEP Infant and Maternal Health Project (IMHP), an international project aimed at reducing the infant and maternal mortality rates in Sierra Leone, rates which currently rank among the highest in the world.
As part of the“Africa’s Future in African Hands” tour, Koroma raises awareness of and support for wellness and economic development programs in Africa.
Throughout her professional career, Nurse Mary has shown consistent commitment to using her skills for the benefit of the masses of African people, those most in need.
In 2003, she stepped down from her position in a government hospital where she witnessed large numbers of deaths of expectant mothers and babies due to a frustrating combination of inability to pay for medical services and the general lack of basic medical equipment and medicines.
Sierra Leone has the world’s highest rate of maternal mortality with 1 in 8 women at risk of dying during childbirth and the highest global rates of infant mortality with 123 of every 1000 babies not surviving to the age of one.
After leaving her government post, Nurse Mary used her own meager resources to build a simple community clinic just outside the country’s capital in Freetown. From her clinic, Nurse Mary began working directly with pregnant women- providing prenatal care, attending deliveries, treating those suffering from malaria, dehydration, and other illnesses, and providing skills training, support and oversight to hundreds of Traditional Birth Attendants throughout the country.
Under Nurse Mary’s leadership, AAPDEP Sierra Leone provides expectant mothers with skilled care through a number of grassroots projects. She founded the AAPDEP-WIND Health and Birth Clinic, where over two hundred patients are treated each month. AAPDEP also provides training and certification for “traditional birth attendants”, relied on by African women who are unable to access costly and distant hospitals.
Nurse Mary has spearheaded projects to raise resources to sustain the clinic while meeting the needs of the community, including four multi-acre vegetable farms, a community fishing project, a vocational institute and a nursery school.
Koroma is traveling throughout the U.S. to share her experience of community led development, where African people identify their own needs and work together to create solutions, a very different model from that of charity organizations that are often criticized for fostering dependency.
Event organizer Camilla Hippolyte explains, “Despite the great barriers to health care faced by Sierra Leone’s people, this is not a tour emphasizing charity and hopelessness.
“Nurse Mary’s work demonstrates how African people in Sierra Leone, and beyond, have organized in their own interest to provide quality health care and economic development for their communities.
“Rather than waiting for charities or the government to implement band-aid projects at their whim, the people of Sierra Leone, under the leadership of AAPDEP and Nurse Mary, have exhibited true self-determination by coming together to create their own programs to combat the deaths of mothers and babies in their community.”
The event will take place on Wednesday, May 2nd at 6:30 p.m. at 1100 First Ave. North, Davidson Fine Art (the green building on the corner; parking will be available.) It’s free and open to the public, who will have the opportunity to contribute skills or resources to the expansion of the Sierra Leone clinic.
AAPDEP is actively recruiting scientists, engineers and volunteers from all fields to help develop their international projects focusing on renewable energy electrification, rainwater harvesting, well-building, water purification, ecological sanitation, farming and community health workers training.
Nurse Mary will also speak on May 13 at the regular 4:00 p.m. Sunday community meeting of the Uhuru House, located at 1245 18th Avenue South in St. Petersburg.