Healthcare in Sierra Leone

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SEATTLE, Washington — Sierra Leone is a West African Country with a population of about 7.5 million. Unfortunately, the country suffers from a healthcare crisis. In fact, it is known as one of the worst countries in the world in terms of healthcare. The CDC has been working to better healthcare in Sierra Leone. There are other organizations such as the World Health Organization and USAID that are working hands-on in Sierra Leone.

What is the Healthcare Crisis?

According to the CDC, Sierra Leone has suffered outbreaks of many diseases, which include Lassa Fever, Ebola, HIV, Tuberculosis, Yellow Fever, Cholera, influenza and malaria. The country was also the center of the Ebola breakout in which close to 4,000 Sierra Leone citizens died. Other than sickness, its people also see staggering fatalities from strokes, lower respiratory infections, ischemic heart disease, neonatal and congenital defects. The healthcare crisis in Sierra Leone is also worsened by the corrupt government.

Improving Healthcare

Many initiatives and organizations have come together to help Sierra Leone with its healthcare situation. The CDC alone does a lot of work for the country. The CDC not only helps stop the spread of disease but also has actions in place to fix the countries healthcare system. The organization has helped set up the Community Health Officer Management and Leadership Training program, which has had 130 graduates as of March 2019. The CDC has also established a field epidemiology training program.

USAID is working to improve healthcare facilities and get the country up and running by working with the government. The government of Sierra Leone wants to better the agriculture sector and increase productivity. Many efforts have been made to increase the mortality rate of children under five, which sits at a staggering 114 per 1000 live births, by putting investments into the education sector.

WHO has been providing aid and spreading awareness about the countries healthcare situation. WHO has set up a health emergencies program that provides first aid, early response and illness prevention. Like the CDC, WHO also has training and learning programs to educate the public on how to better the healthcare in Sierra Leone. The organization also spreads awareness and gives people a general insight into what’s happening on the ground by issuing out news reports and informative videos.

The Need to Strengthen the System

To understand the healthcare crisis it’s important to understand how it began. In short, the reason sickness started to spread is simply because of an already weak and struggling healthcare system. The main concern is Sierra Leone’s rising poverty levels. However, poverty does not take the blame alone; the government in Sierra Leone is weak and corrupt. The fight to improve healthcare in Sierra Leone stands entirely with the government’s ability to fight against corruption.

Overall, healthcare in Sierra Leone has seen many improvements and is likely to see even more in the future. Organizations like WHO and USAID are working to improve the existing healthcare system. As these improvements take place it’s likely that the people in Sierra Leone will live a better quality of life with access to better healthcare.

Sarah Mobarak
Photo: Flickr
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