Buffalo, NY - Liberia has come a long way in the 14 years since the end of its brutal civil war. Still the crippling impact on the country’s healthcare system remains on a road to recovery. Emilee C. Flynn, MD, is helping to revive this vulnerable West African region.
The graduate of Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine is in her first of a two-year fellowship in pediatric global health at the University of Massachusetts where she is also working towards her master’s degree in public health. Flynn’s current rotation is at the J.J. Dossen Memorial Hospital in Harper, Liberia, where she delivers clinical care to the youngest of patients.
“The infant and under five mortality rate is among the highest in the world here,” explains Flynn, who treats children suffering from malaria, tuberculosis and HIV, as well as asthma, diabetes, kidney disease and heart disease. Conditions are worsened by the “incredibly limited resources in this very remote region.”
Though there are many challenges, Flynn is “constantly amazed by the determination and desire to learn that is displayed by so many of the staff at the hospital.”
As part of her fellowship, Flynn provides medical education to hospital staff and students. She teaches in the pediatric ward working with the nursing students and residents who rotate through the ward. Flynn is also a master trainer for the Helping Babies Breathe program, which teaches neonatal resuscitation in resource limited settings.
“Slowly, improvements are being made,” Flynn says. “I have cared for children with severe diabetes and asthma who likely would have died just a few months ago, as the hospital staff did not have the training or resources necessary to treat such conditions. Now, these children are surviving, managing their own conditions and thriving. It is incredibly humbling to witness.”