Dr. Friederike Scheu

On assignment as a pediatrician in Sierra Leone

Friedericke Scheu war sechs Monate als Kinderärztin für Cap Anamur im Kinderkrankenhaus in Sierra Leone im Einsatz


Dr. Friederike Scheu


30 years old



Country of operation

Sierra Leone, Freetown

Duration of mission

6 months

How long have you been employed by Cap Anamur?

My first mission for Cap Anamur started on My 15th, 2022

What does your day-to-day work / area of responsibility look like?

In the morning, our driver took me and my colleague to the hospital. Depending on the traffic in Freetown, this took between 20-60 minutes. With any luck, we made it to the doctors’ morning meeting on time at 8am. In addition to current problems, critical cases were discussed and reports were given on the children who had died the previous day. Approximately twice a week, there was further training afterwards.

After that, we started our ward work in the High Dependency Unit, which is the hospital’s intensive care unit, but it is not comparable to intensive care units in our country. There are no monitors there, no facilities for ventilation and hardly any diagnostic facilities, such as a laboratory. There is oxygen equipment, but it only works as long as the power doesn’t go out (which unfortunately happens quite often) and an old ultrasound machine. That’s why you learn very well there how to assess children through anamnesis and physical examination, how to make diagnoses and how to treat them as best as possible with the few options available. The nurses support us in this process.

What do you like most about your work?

The atmosphere on the ward is mostly positive despite the unbelievable heat, completely overcrowded rooms without privacy and, unfortunately, always very sick children, so that the work there is still fun. The joy of life and the positive thinking of the Sierra Leoneans also contribute to this. Depending on the number of patients (our ward with 13 beds was occupied at peak times with up to 30 children at a time), we had time in the afternoon to give advanced training to local doctors. We also took care of the medication orders for the hospital. Actually, the medicines for children in Sierra Leone are supposed to be provided free of charge by the government, but unfortunately their supplies are far from sufficient.

Reasons why you work for Cap Anamur:

I always wanted to help in a developing country. Even during college, I worked in Sri Lanka for a while. The decision for Sierra Leone was made mainly because of the hospital. Since I am a pediatrician, the children’s hospital ‘Ola During Childrens Hospital’ in Freetown was an obvious choice.

Some memories or special moments:

The joint clapping and dancing of fellow patients, mothers and nurses on the ward when a seriously ill child survived and was able to go home after a long stay in hospital. As well as little Abubakar, he was very sick and we did not think for a long time that he would survive. But after a long treatment, he was then able to leave the hospital in a stable condition.

Team members in portrait