Sierra Leone

Goderich Surgical Centre

The Sierra Leone reference hospital for surgery and traumatology.


The EMERGENCY Surgery Centre in Goderich has a huge impact and importance for the country: during the 2014 and 2015 epidemic of Ebola, it was the only hospital which remained open, even when the structures of Sierra Leone – especially surgical ones – have been closed for weeks for fear of contagion.

The Reference Centre for Traumatology

The Surgical Centre is the reference hospital for traumatology for the entire Sierra Leone: many patients are transferred to Goderich from hospitals in other provinces and sometimes also from neighboring countries.

Limited at first to urgent and war-related surgery, our admission criteria have progressively expanded. Today they cover traumatology, urgent surgery for treatment of pathologies such as hernias and intestinal perforations, and elective surgery.


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The Centre also has a guesthouse to accommodate relatives and people accompanying patients from far away.

The Program for Esophageal Burns

The program for the treatment of esophagus burns caused by accidental ingestion of caustic soda is the only one across the country.

The widespread use of caustic soda in Sierra Leone is primarily due to a campaign launched at the end of the civil war that taught women how to produce soap at home. The unexpected consequence of the campaign: the transparent color of the soda confuses children, who mistake it for water. After ingesting, the burns caused by the soda can impair swallowing and lead to malnutrition.


As in all EMERGENCY projects, the Goderich Surgical Centre prioritizes the training of local staff. The local health ministry recognized the hospital as a ‘training school’ and have asked us to train nurses in anesthesia.

At the 2022 National Health Summit, the Ministry of Health and Sanitation recognized our colleagues in Goderich as the “Best Performing Medical Emergency Response Team” thanks to their work supporting the country through some of the most difficult times: from the Ebola outbreak to a landslide that swept through an entire neighborhood of Freetown in 2017, from responding to COVID-19 to dealing with a tragic mass casualty incident after a tanker explosion in Wellington in November 2021.

Programme Data

Location: Goderich

Start of clinical activities: November 2001

Activities: General and emergency Surgery, orthopaedic and reconstructive surgery, traumatology.

Facilities: Accident and emergency, clinic, 3 operating theatres, sterilisation, intensive care, wards, physiotherapy, radiology, laboratory and blood bank, pharmacy, classrooms, play room, technical and support services, guest accommodation.

Outpatient consultations: 417,857

Admissions: 46,605

Surgical interventions: 66,619

(Data correct as of December 2022)

Activities at the Centre are funded by the Italian Agency for Development Cooperation

Project funded with the support of Otto per Mille of the Waldensian Church of Italy


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