East Ohio Conference > 3Cs > Sierra Leone > MANJAMA/HISTORY


Manjama United Methodist Health Center - History

Manjama UM Health Center is located four miles north of Bo in the Southern Province. Manjama United Methodist Health Center (MUMHC) was established in the 1940s to serve the needs of 20 plus rural impoverished medically underserved villages in the bush. The need for this health center was great and the Manjama Village Chief provided the land where MUMHC was constructed. The leasing of this land to the Sierra Leone UMC Conference continues to the present.

The civil war, 1991-2001, interrupted the intended use of MUMHC. It was actually used as military outpost by the Sierra Leone Government Forces. In the terrain around MUMHC, remains of defensive trenches are still evident.

In 2001 the UMC General Board of Global Ministries (GBGM) recruited missionaries to return to Sierra Leone per the request of Bishop Humper, Resident Bishop of the Sierra Leone UMC Conference. MUMHC gained some of its previous stature: Patient services were reinstituted; Under-Five Clinic/Nutrition Program; Antenatal Clinic; Immunization Clinic; General Outpatient Clinic; Inpatient Care for uncomplicated maternity cases. These services were needed as the maternal mortality rate was 20% and the under-five mortality rate was 25% during and after the civil war. 

UMCOR gave Grants in 2001 to partially re-roof MUMHC and in 2002 to complete one-half of the shell of a duplex that had been built before the civil war for staff housing. Following rehabilitation of the duplex a nurse midwife was able to live on-site. Twenty-four hour, seven day a week care was provided.

In 2004, Community-Based Health Training (CBHT) for lay semi-literate women from the entire country of Sierra Leone was initiated. This was funded by the Women’s Division of GBGM (UMW), and UMCOR. East Ohio UMC Conference (EOC) Missionary Nurse Beth Ferrell (2001-2005) organized the CBHT.