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DHS reveals improved health care in Sierra Leone

By Victoria K. Saffa

The 2013 Sierra Leone Demographic and Health Survey preliminary results released on Tuesday January 28 indicate that progress has been made in providing improved health services for the people across the country.

This indicates that the just concluded Demographic and Health Survey, among other things, shows that from 2008, the use of modern family planning methods among married women doubled from 7 percent to 16 percent, a release from the Ministry of Health and Sanitation states.

The release further indicates that delivery at health facilities doubled from 25 percent to 56 percent, noting that the use of insecticide treated nets (ITNs) against malaria for under-five children doubled from 26 percent to 49 percent, while the use of ITNs among pregnant women doubled from 27 percent to 53 percent.

It also states that antenatal care by skilled birth attendants has increased from 87 percent to 97 percent, and delivery cases by a skilled birth provider have risen from 42 percent to 61 percent.

“The rate of fully immunized children has increased from 40 percent to 68 percent,” the release states, adding that ORS use for children with diarrhoea increased from 68 percent to 85 percent.

While data on maternal mortality is yet to be released, according to the Ministry of Health joint release, “we are seeing encouraging trends in the decline in childhood mortality as under-5 mortality rate is at 156 deaths per 1000 births.

“We would like to see a more drastic drop in childhood deaths, so there is need to double and fast-track our efforts to achieve this goal. These results will encourage all partners to continue to work together, to further strengthen our interventions and our methods so that progress in the health sector in Sierra Leone is sustained.”