November 2017 – Inspiration from Sierra Leone

Over 30 medical women, ranging from enthusiastic medical students to senior doctors, met and networked during our bi-annual dinner meeting at the AMA House on 16th November 2017. Our invited speaker was Aminata Conteh-Biger. Her story includes unimaginable hardship, being captured and held prisoner by rebel forces during the civil war in Sierra Leone. Aminata has now built an amazing life after coming to Australia as the first Sierra Leonan refugee.

The night began with a screening of the documentary, “Daughter of Sierra Leone”. This gave all attending an introduction to Aminata’s background and what led her to her current focus in life, running The Aminata Maternal Foundation. This Foundation allows Aminata to help women and babies in Sierra Leone to improve their maternal health. We were captivated by the stories of the Foundation being able to assist in organising life saving caesarean sections. However we were also shocked at the number of women, including girls as young as fourteen years old, who weren’t so lucky.

At the close of the meeting a large number of members milled around enjoying the opportunity to mingle with like-minded women. Aminata’s presentation had inspired many conversations about ways in which we, as medical women, could become involved in delivering healthcare which really made a difference to our community. We look forward to more inspiring talks and opportunities to mingle at future MWS NSW dinner meetings.