Case Study: Cross-Cultural Leadership for Maternal and Child Health Promotion in Sierra Leone

  • Florence M. Dorwie


I was born in Sierra Leone, in Jimmi Bagbo, a headquarter of Bargo Chiefdom. Jimmi can be accessed by 36 miles of dirt road from the nearest town of Bo. I grew up in a polygamous family and my mother was the last wife of my father. My mother is a homemaker who worked as a traditional birth attendant/TBA in our village. I was delivered by a TBA. I came to the USA in 1983 after my father allowed me to leave and pursue further education despite the cultural belief that a girl’s role is to bear children and prepare a home for her family. Previously, my father only sent his sons to school. I was the first of his daughters to go to school who finished high school. I was not born in wealth but was spared from poverty and risk of early marriage like many girls in my community. I emigrated alone and stayed initially with a family friend who looked after her children. Later, I worked as a nurse’s aide in a long-term care facility that provided tuition support for my BSN degree. I subsequently completed my MSN and DNP and have been practicing as a primary care provider in the ambulatory clinic of a large urban hospital in a metropolitan area in the northeast.


  1. BBC News (2016) Ebola: mapping the outbreak. 28755033
  2. Dorwie FM, Pacquiao DF (2014) Practices of traditional birth attendants in Sierra Leone and perceptions by mothers and health professionals familiar with their care. J Transcult Nurs 25(1):33–41. CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  3. Kallon L, Dundes L (2010) The cultural context of the Sierra Leone Mende women as patients. J Transcult Nurs 21:228–236CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  4. Lori JR, Boyle JS (2011) Cultural childbirth practices, beliefs and traditions in post conflict Liberia. Health Care Women Int 32:454–473CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  5. UNICEF (2009) Free healthcare services for pregnant and lactating women and young children in Sierra Leone. Accessed from. on 16 March 2018
  6. WHO (2015) Sierra Leone: country health profile.
  7. WHO (2017) Sierra Leone.

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Florence M. Dorwie
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Sa Leone Health Pride, Inc.North BergenUSA
  2. 2.New York Presbyterian Columbia University Medical CenterNew YorkUSA

Personalised recommendations