Who We Are

Established in 2016, SLI is a not-for-profit and non-denominational humanitarian organization that facilitates surgical missions and sustainable medical service programs that are geared towards knowledge transfer to Sierra Leone. We are a volunteer-based organization registered as a 501(c)(3) organization in the United States (Tax ID 47- 5645999). All activities of the organization are carried out through volunteered time to facilitate and manage the training and surgical missions.

What We Do

Our activities are geared towards capacity development in surgical delivery services, and our routine semi-annual surgical missions are a conduit to actualize the sustainability of our activities through knowledge transfer backed by equipment and medication supplies. The mission trips are facilitated at rural and urban government-operated hospitals in different underserved regions where surgical needs are greatest, or our training services will be more impactful.

a woman holding a baby

Why We Do What We Do

Sierra Leone is a low-income country on the west coast of Africa. The World Health Organization (WHO) ranks it last globally to attain health goals and healthcare performance. This is because of the inadequate and disproportional healthcare services available to the seven million residents, resulting in a low life expectancy of 59 for men and 61 for women[ World Health Organization. (2020, November 16). Sierra Leone. WHO. https://www.who.int/countries/sle/], high infant, child, and maternal mortality rates.

As in most low-income countries, surgical care is the forgotten component of the healthcare system, and Sierra Leone is not an exception. A 2012 study determined that 25% of "deaths of household members in the previous year might have been averted by timely surgical care.” The staggering lack of access to surgical care puts ordinary people in dire situations.


Over 60% of all employment in Sierra Leone is labor-intensive and physically dangerous agricultural jobs.[ Central Interagency Agency. (n.d.).] A lack of occupational safety regulations and the inherent occupational hazard of this labor-intensive profession exposes farmers to unreasonable risk for occupational injury. Additionally, gross disregard for traffic regulations and unsafe driving behavior account for another significant cause of Sierra Leone's trauma injuries. What compounds these tragedies is the lack of proper or accessible surgical care to help patients heal and get back on their feet.

The challenges confronting the health care system in Sierra Leone are a combination of factors that include but are not limited to poor medical infrastructure, low government investment, and the lack of continuous professional training of medical personnel. The latter is a major challenge for the healthcare sector in the country.

It is against the above backdrop that our organization is dedicated to serving the people of Sierra Leone by supplementing surgical care through collaboration with the local surgical professionals and centered around knowledge transfer for a sustainable transformation of surgical delivery services.

How We Do It

Our areas of intervention include activities to strengthen surgical and anesthesia care in Sierra Leone through capacity development, professional development, and healthcare equipment and infrastructure support.

The organization routinely facilitates semi-annual healthcare mission trips to rural and urban government-operated hospitals throughout Sierra Leone. These trips target different, underserved regions to provide much-needed surgical services and training for surgical personnel.

While highly beneficial to those receiving the surgical services, Training and education are the cornerstones of Saving Lives Initiatives' mission, and the organization’s programs are all implemented with these goals.

While highly beneficial for those receiving the crucial care, providing surgery is only a portion of Saving Lives Initiatives' mission. Providing critical surgical training for healthcare professionals in Sierra Leone ensures future access to life-saving surgery is available more than semi-annually.

In addition to the commitment to building capacity through education, Saving Lives Initiatives implements a Medical Exchange Program for resident medical personnel in Sierra Leone. The program facilitates Sierra Leonean medical personnel to visit partner medical facilities in the United States. This cultural and educational exchange allows participants to observe the delivery of quality health and surgical care.

image of the volunteers

Mission Statement

To partner with the surgical healthcare sector in Sierra Leone to provide free surgical care to those with little or no access to healthcare and to strengthen surgical care and patient safety by building surgical and anesthesia capacity through knowledge transfer and material support.

Vision Statement

To improve the quality of life of the citizens of Sierra Leone through improved surgical care services.