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Serious decline in deliveries

- VSO Health Report reveals

October 27, 2015 By Ibrahim Tarawallie

A research conducted by Voluntary Service Overseas (VSO) Sierra Leone, in collaboration with the Ministry of Health and Sanitation and the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, has revealed a serious decline in the number of deliveries in health facilities.

The research report titled, “The Impact of the Ebola Outbreak on Routine Maternal Health Services in Sierra Leone”, which was weeks ago made public, indicates that in both the Basic Emergency Obstetric Care (BEmONC) and Comprehensive Obstetric Emergency Care (CEmONC) facilities, the number of deliveries declined as the number of Ebola virus disease cases rose.

“In the BEmONC facilities, there was a 31% decline in the numbers of deliveries from 1,759 in May 2014 to 1,205 in September 2014. No similar level decline occurred in the same period for 2013,” it reveals.

According to the report, though the numbers of deliveries increased as the number of EVD cases reduced, they had not returned to pre-EVD levels by January 2015.

It further notes that in the CEmONC, the decline was more pronounced in that from May 2014 to November 2014, at the height of the epidemic, the number of deliveries reduced by 37%.

It records a decline of 63% in the numbers of deliveries from a peak of 1,499 in May 2014 to 553 in January 2015.

“Comparing numbers of deliveries in November 2014 to November 2013 shows that there was a decline in November 2014 in deliveries of 17%. The numbers of deliveries continued to decline in the CEmONC as the number of EVD cases reduced,” the report discloses.

It recommends that the District Health Medical Teams (DHMTs) and the Ministry of Health and Sanitation ensure the development of permanent isolation facilities within each district at CEmONC level.

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