Statistics SL & partners launch 2013 DHS survey report


OCTOBER 1, 2014 By Regina Pratt

Statistics Sierra Leone (SSL) and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) yesterday launched the final report of the 2013 Demographic Health Survey (DHS) at the Radisson Blu Hotel, Aberdeen in Freetown.

UNFPA provided technical and logistical support to SSL for the Demographic Health Survey as well as the Housing and Population Census, which is now scheduled for April 2015.

Representing the Minister of Finance and Economic Development, Foday B.L. Mansaray recalled that a preliminary report of the DHS document was launched in January this year and echoed government’s appreciation of the conduct of the survey, which he said conforms to international standard.

“These estimates will provide how much impact was made during the [implementation of the] free health care,” Mansaray said, adding that in 2008 the use of family planning was 7% but the figure has increased to 13% in 2013. He said the data from the DHS would assist government in improving the lives of the citizenry.

In his short presentation on the impact of the Ebola virus disease on maternal health services, UNFPA Resident Representative, Dr. Barnett Ndyanabangi, urged that a pillar group should look into the issues and source support and protection for health workers, as well as improve on the referral systems.

He said the impact on reproductive health and proposed mitigation strategy for 2015 is that 123,000 pregnant women and 500,000 girls will need contraceptives, noting that fistula cases should also be considered.

Statistician-General, Mohamed King Koroma, said the Ebola outbreak has affected the census as all activities have been put on hold.

He however expressed hope that the deadly virus will be eradicated from the country, adding   that the launch of the DHS report would give hope to Sierra Leoneans that all was not lost.

SSL’s Peter S. Bangura and his team gave a brief update on the final report of the 2013 Demographic Health Survey. He said samples were taken from 16,658 women in all selected households and 7,262 men in half of the selected households, ages 15-49.

He spoke on the characteristics of households and respondents, fertility and its determinants, family planning and all its components, including feeding practices and nutritional status of women and children, malaria prevention and treatment, HIV/AIDS and women’s empowerment.

UN country team Resident Representative, David MacLar-Karr, said support must be sustained and commended Statistics Sierra Leone for taking the lead in the survey.

He said 2014-2015 are important years as they mark celebration of the International Conference for Population and Development, and that the 15th anniversary of the Millennium Development Goals is 2015.