Sierra Leone
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Sierra Leone


  • The College of Medicine and Allied Health Sciences (COMAHS) was established in 1988 and became a constituent college of the University of Sierra Leone in the same year. The COMAHS Library has relied heavily on donor support for its collection development.
  • Cardiff University Library and Information Services: The Medical Library at the university provides information services to support undergraduate and postgraduate students, as well as academic staff, and provides services for the staff of Cardiff and the Vale NHS Trust.

Formation and aims of the partnership

The partnership was formally established in 1998, as a university to university partnership with wider community involvement. It developed through exchange visits between the UK and Sierra Leone with an emphasis on the concepts of evidence based medicine, the training of librarians in information retrieval, and the development of training programmes for health students and workers.  


Highlights of Past activities and achievements

2010 March: Pademba Road Library - African Prisons project  - Phi’s Director, Shane Godbolt, and Trustee, Nick Naftalin, have recently returned from a visit to Sierra Leone with Stevie Russell (Librarian at University College London).  Stevie has written a blog on her visit and the ‘Library for Pademba Road Prison’ project.  Please visit this blog if you would like to find out more about this fascinating visit and project. This project is being led by AdvocAid, a civil society organisation which advocates for women prisoners in Sierra Leone, together with the African Prisons Project, and is being supported by Phi.

2010: Visit to UK - Anthony Thompson Award - James Massally, the teacher-librarian at the Annie Walsh Memorial School, Freetown, Sierra Leone was the 2010 winner of the Anthony Thompson Award. (The School was involved in the above project to improve health information for the community.) James is also a Masters Student at Fourah Bay College, University of Sierra Leone, pursuing an M. Phil. in Library and Information Studies. His motivation in applying for the award was to "use my knowledge and skills to contribute alongside others to national development in Sierra Leone….to help move school librarianship forward as the current Coordinator of School Librarians in my country… and to expand my knowledge in the area of Information and Communication Technology." Read more 

2006-2010 Partnership project - The partnership received DelPHE funding for a 3 year project: Health Information for Communities in Sierra Leone.  This project builds upon the success of previous partnership activities by focusing on community health information as a tool for poverty alleviation in Sierra Leone, by engaging the wider community. Read more.

  • 2008: The first HINARI training workshop (three days) to take place in Sierra Leone for health professionals and students to enable them to access electronic versions of health journals free of charge.  Kwame Oneill, final year medical student at the University of Sierra Leone wrote: "The materials accessed from the HINARI website are invaluable to me. My dissertation was suffering from lack of materials but HINARI changed all that”
  • 2007: The partnership produced a set of briefing papers on a range of health topics for use in university and district health settings in Sierra Leone, including sections on training resources of potential value for community health centre, school and other community settings.

Links and resources 

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