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DHS Report shows steady decrease in childhood mortality

January 11, 2021

By Mohamed M. Sesay

High table of the workshop

Statistics Sierra Leone’s 2019 Demographic Health Survey (DHS) indicates that infant and under-5 mortality levels have consistently decreased from 92 to 75 and from 156 to 122 deaths per 1,000 live births respectively.

The above was disclosed in a workshop held with journalists at the Statistic Sierra Leone Headquarters,A.J Momoh Street, in a bid to popularizing the 2019 Demographic Health Survey.

Director of Demographic Health and Social Statistics Division, Sonnia Magba Bu- Buakai Jabbie, said basic vaccination coverage has increased since 2008 when 40% of children had received all the basic vaccination,thus adding that it has decreased from 68% in 2013 to the current level of 56%.

He said the proportion of children who have not received vaccinations has also declined from 16% in 2008 to 2% in 2019.

He explained that the 2019 Sierra Leone Demographic Health Survey tested children age 6-59 months for anaemia and that overall, 68% of children age 6-59 months are anaemic with 3% of children experiencing severe anaemia.

He confirmed that the anaemia situation in 2019 has improved dramatically compared to 2013 with 13% and 50% reduction in moderate and severe anaemia cases in children between ages 6 to 59 months respectively.

‘’Childhood stunting has decreased from 36% in 2008 to 30% in 2019. During the same period, the proportion of children underweight has declined from 21% to 14%. Childhood wasting has remained stagnant since 1992,’’ he said.

He stated that 2 in 3 households have access to improve source of drinking water and that the urban households (92%) are more likely to have access to an improved source of drinking water than rural households (58%).

He added that sanitation facility has also improved as half of the households (55%) in Sierra Leone used improved sanitation facility including facilities shared with other households compared to 49% in 2013.

The Director concluded that urban households are more than twice as likely as rural households to use improved sanitation facilities (84% vs 33%).

He said one in four households (26%) used unimproved sanitation, while nearly 1 in 5 households have no sanitation facility or openly defecate.