About the mama-pikin foundation

Our Team

Our team consists of 16 technical and administrative staff who are based in our headquarters in Freetown and in 6 districts in Sierra Leone. Our leadership team (below) works with this diverse group of public health professionals to implement our activities in Sierra Leone.

Co-Founder, Executive Director & Maternal Health Director

Dr. Fatu Forna Sesay

Dr. Fatu Forna Sesay is Co-Founder and Executive Director of The Mama-Pikin Foundation. She is an obstetrician-gynecologist, epidemiologist and international Maternal and Child Health expert who was born in Sierra Leone and moved to the US as a teenager. She received her medical degree from Duke University School of Medicine and her master’s degree in public health from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Dr. Forna completed her obstetrics and gynecology residency at Emory University School of Medicine and an Epidemic Intelligence Service fellowship at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. She is a Fellow of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.

Dr. Forna has led and managed multiple clinical and technical teams and developed innovative programs to improve the health of women, children, and families. She has served as Lead for Reproductive and Maternal Health for the World Health Organization in Sierra Leone, as a Medical Epidemiologist at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and as Chief of Women’s Services and Physician Program Director for Perinatal Safety and Quality for Kaiser Permanente in Georgia (KPGA). She has worked in many countries around the world to improve reproductive health, reduce maternal morbidity and mortality, and improve the quality of care provided to women. She has helped develop and served on numerous Maternal Mortality Review Committees in the United States and Sierra Leone and currently serves as an advisor to the World Health Organization on maternal and reproductive health issues. Together with her colleagues in KPGA, Dr. Forna developed the Cocoon Pregnancy Care Model to decrease maternal morbidity and mortality. The model places pregnant women in the center of a protective layer of a care team and services to optimize their health, enhance their care experience, and improve perinatal outcomes.

Dr. Forna is a passionate advocate for the reproductive health of young women, and the author of the book “From your doctor to you. What every teenage girl should know about her body, sex, STDs and contraception”.

Co-Founder & Child Health Director

Dr. Shekou M. Sesay

Dr. Shekou M. Sesay is Co-Founder and Co-Executive Director of The Mama-Pikin Foundation. He is a pediatrician who was born in the US and spent his childhood in Sierra Leone. He returned to the US in college and received his undergraduate degree at the University of Maryland at College Park. He received his Medical and Public Health Degrees at the Morehouse School of Medicine and also completed Pediatric and Preventive Medicine Residencies at the Morehouse School of Medicine. Dr. Sesay has done work at the World Health Organization in Geneva and with Care International in Sierra Leone. He has worked previously as a consultant in the Special Baby Care Unit at the Ola During Children’s Hospital in Freetown, Sierra Leone and as a hospitalist for Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta at Scottish Rite Hospital. 

Dr. Sesay is Owner and Executive Medical Director at Peachtree Pediatric Urgent Care in Suwanee, Georgia. Dr. Sesay co-founded The Mama-Pikin Foundation with his wife Dr. Fatu Forna Sesay, in 2008.

Country Director

Leeann Mahota Rizk, MPH

Leeann Rizk is a public health professional with over a decade specializing in the field of Sexual & Reproductive health. She has a background rooted in developing, launching, and managing community health education programs as well as evidence-based health promotion interventions serving populations in need.

Mrs. Rizk’s deepest passion is in supporting adolescents, women, young adults and their families in becoming fully engaged in their health and wellness. She has collaborated on several reproductive health projects, including working with international non-profit organizations and the government of Sierra Leone to leading a HIV prevention program in Harlem, New York to organizing communities around SRH issues working with Planned Parenthood of Greater New York.

Mrs. Rizk also served as a board member of the NYCDOH’s Community engagement board on Sexual/Reproductive Justice since its inception in June of 2015. Presently, Ms. Rizk is employed as Country Director with The Mama-Pikin Foundation in Sierra Leone.

She has also supervised many youth peer education programs for high and middle school students as well as young adults. Additionally, Ms. Rizk holds a Master of Public Health with specialization in Maternal, Child, Reproductive and Sexual health at the CUNY graduate School of Public Health and Health Policy. Mrs. Rizk is a proud first-generation Sierra Leonean, mother of two as well as a dynamic Sexual health educator, trainer and advocate!