January 11, 2021
By Mohamed M. Sesay
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.