Pitch Night-October 17th 2018

Join us on October 17th for another edition of Freetown Pitch Night.  The theme  is Life Style and Wellness.

The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development adopted at the United Nations Summit on Sustainable Development in September 2015, recognizes non-communicable diseases (NCDs) as a major challenge for sustainable development. NCDs are projected to increase by 15% by 2020 and the greatest increase will be in Africa.
Non-communicable diseases like diabetes, cardiovascular disease and cancer are wreaking havoc in our society. The World Health Organisation-WHO- listed four key risk factors for NCDs (tobacco, harmful use of alcohol, unhealthy diet and physical inactivity.

We are have four entrepreneurs and leaders presenting their ideas and solutions on how Sierra Leone can meet the target 3.4 which is  that by  2030, reduce by one third premature mortality from non-communicable diseases through prevention and treatment and promote mental health and well-being .

Sierra Leone has a very high rate of premature mortality from non-communicable diseases .

On Pitch Night our chosen entrepreneurs and leaders will pitch their ideas and solutions.

Among the pitcher will be Nyamacoro Silla. Nyamacoro Silla, who was born in Sierra Leone and now lives in the UK, was the head nurse for the International Medical Corps’ Ebola response programme. She describes healthcare in Sierra Leone now as a very scarce commodity. “During the Ebola epidemic we lost 250 Sierra Leonean healthcare workers and 12 doctors,” she explains. “And we had very few to start with.”

According to Nyamacoro Silla, Non communicable diseases like diabetes, cardiovascular disease and cancer are wreaking havoc in our communities. According to a report from WHO (2017) Sierra Leone is yet to achieve unhealthy diet reduction measures: salt/sodium policies, saturated fatty acids and trans fats policies, marketing to children restrictions etc.  There are no national NCD’s targets. WHO wants the government to step up efforts to control NCD’s to meet globally agreed targets. WHO listed four key risk factors for NCD’s ( tobacco, harmful use of alcohol, unhealthy diet and physical exercise.)

To address the above Nyamacoro Silla will pitch her ideas for an Health Advocacy & Health Promotion initiative.

Another pitcher is Dr. Ese D. Thomas- Macauley








We will also have a panel of experts that will include Jourdan McGinn. Jourdan is currently the Director of Policy & Partnership with Partners in Health Sierra Leone. Prior to PIH, Jourdan was the Director of Program Design for One Acre Fund Kenya, a social enterprise supporting small-holder farmers across Africa. Jourdan oversaw One Acre Fund’s operations, marketing, business growth and expansion, and loan recollection across Kenya, overseeing a team of 1,300 staff and a $21 million loan portfolio serving nearly a quarter million clients. Jourdan holds a BA in Strategic Communications and an MSc in Public Health from London School.

Finally we profile our guest speaker, Dr. Brian Conton. Dr. Conton is an accomplished data scientist who has designed and co-written databases to run schools, hospitals, medical insurance, research, and project management systems. He conceptualized the project and led the implementation team to rescue all left over Ebola samples in Sierra Leone. He has given numerous presentations and workshops throughout the sub-region on the innovative techniques used for retrospective bio-banking of Ebola samples based on data integration, without compromising National Security. His emphasis while doing this, is to enhance value chains and domesticate intellectual property to better serve National Economies.

He was appointed to serve as Logistics and Administrative Coordinator to the Convalescent Therapies Technical Committee for Sierra Leone’s Ministry of Health, that was responsible for Ebola Convalescent whole blood and plasma research trials. He has several peer review articles as co and lead author.
Currently he is the Director of Leone Preparatory School where an ultra-modern curriculum which incorporates elements of the Montessori philosophy for early years, computer based instruction, with a variable learning style methodology geared towards self-directed scholarship has been put in place.

He owns Physio-Fitness Rehabilitation Centre in Freetown, that has pushed a local fitness awareness wave, and innovative exercise based treatment plans to fulfil a variety of health and wellness goals.
He is also founder and CEO of Research Management Solutions, a Sierra Leonean based private company to contextualize international trials, promote indigenous research and provide a logistical platform for multidisciplinary approaches in science. He possesses a Doctorate in Physical Therapy specializing in cultural contingency effects on Workforce development, an MBA, a BSc in Engineering and certifications in Data Science.