Opportunity in Sierra Leone

Kayla Hatch My name is Kayla Hatch, and I am from Iowa, USA. I have lived in Sierra Leone, West Africa since September 2012. My father started a ministry in Sierra Leone when I was 14 and I have been visiting here almost every year since I was 16. When I was 17, I felt called to Sierra Leone long term and decided to get an education in nursing. I received my RN degree in my hometown of Iowa in 2009. After nursing school, I attended NewLife International School of Midwifery in the Philippines from 2009-2011.

I moved to Sierra Leone in September 2012 with a friend who is also a midwife trained at NewLife. She had a one year commitment to life in Sierra Leone and has returned home. I am now looking for at least one midwife to join me here in Sierra Leone. The first year in Sierra Leone was spent working in a local, government run maternity clinic specifically to learn the local customs, healthcare system and how the midwives are trained. I am now opening a new maternity center and hope to begin taking patients by the end of 2015. My vision is to raise the standard of local healthcare, share the love of Jesus and eventually train local midwives.

Kayla with her daughter, Annalise

Kayla with her daughter, Annalise

Sierra Leone History and Health Stats

Sierra Leone just got through a gruesome 11 year civil war in 2002. Because of the war, many families were displaced, infrastructure was ruined, healthcare quality dramatically decreased, there is a generation of people that are lacking formal education, and a generalized sense of hopelessness. With this said, Sierra Leone as a whole is in a state of “rebuilding”. Literally rebuilding houses and buildings, getting the school system running properly again, making efforts to improve healthcare, working on roads, increase in businesses and a hunger for education, improvement and hope. It’s an exciting time to be working in Sierra Leone.


Joseph came to me as a very malnourished preemie baby….3.5 pounds at 2 months old! (April 2014) Him and his mom stayed with us for 3 weeks and was 5.5 pounds when he went back to the village with his mom. Lots of education to mom and a healthy baby! He comes back to visit us for his follow up appointments!

A few years back, Sierra Leone and Afghanistan tied for having the worst maternal mortality rates in the world. Healthcare has been slowly but surely improving with lots of help from WHO and UNICEF. According to CIA (2010), Sierra Leone has the third highest maternal mortality rate in the world. According to Amnesty International in 2009, less than half of deliveries are attended by a skilled birth attendant and less than 20% are carried out in health facilities. These statistics have slightly improved in the past few years, but we are still seeing maternal deaths happen at home frequently. Basically, every person here knows of someone who has died during pregnancy or childbirth. The majority of these deaths are very preventable with quality education and good placement of healthcare staff. I believe that there are two things that greatly affect maternal mortality here 1) lack of community education on why they should deliver with a skilled attendant and 2) lack of education to the healthcare staff; there are a horrifying number of nurses/maternal healthcare workers that graduate and don’t know how to take a blood pressure and have never delivered a baby before. There is a saying that says when a woman is pregnant, one foot is in the grave. According to CIA (2013), 1 in 13 babies in Sierra Leone will die before they reach 12 months.

Midwife Needed

I am looking for at least one midwife (or nurse with OB interest) to work alongside to get the maternity center up and running smoothly. I especially need a midwife the first year while I don’t have any local midwives or nurses trained yet. I expect to get busy pretty quickly after opening the clinic and know that I will not be able to manage by myself. I do plan to hire local midwives and nurses, but it takes time to train and get to a point of trusting how they practice. I would like to have a midwife that could commit to six months. It is very simple to get a Sierra Leone license to practice as a nurse or midwife as long as you already have a current license.

New clinic

The New Clinic – Contains 2 delivery rooms, 1 prenatal room, 1 postpartum room, front registration and 2 full bathrooms

The clinic construction has been completed, including supplies and equipment. Kayla is waiting on the government license to be able to officially open. Hopefully by the end of 2015 this new clinic will be up and running!

If you are interested in working alongside Kayla, please Contact Us.