In Sierra Leone, we work with facilities and providers to keep essential health services accessible for women, children, and families throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.
A geographically diverse country on the southwestern coast of Africa, Sierra Leone has a very young population, with 40 percent of its population under age 151 and over three-quarters under age 35.2 The country has made efforts to increase the health of its citizens, including offering free health care to pregnant women, new mothers, and young children. Unfortunately, many Sierra Leonean mothers still die due to preventable causes, resulting in one of the highest maternal mortality rates in the world.3
To help the country’s growing population stay healthy, MOMENTUM partners with Sierra Leone’s government and local and national organizations to safeguard health care during the COVID-19 pandemic. Together, we help keep essential services for maternal, newborn, and child health, voluntary family planning, and reproductive health safe and accessible throughout the country.
Keeping Health Facilities Clean, Safe, and Accessible During COVID-19
When the COVID-19 pandemic began, health facilities in Sierra Leone rapidly mobilized to minimize its effect on essential health services for women and children. MOMENTUM contributes to this work by supporting public and faith-based facilities to conduct assessments of the care they provide and improve their ability to provide safe, sanitary conditions for their clients and employees. We also help facilities identify improvements to sanitation measures and curb the spread of infection through infection prevention and control measures.
Additionally, we support health workers to develop community communication and engagement strategies to help spread messages on how best to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. These strategies address fears and misinformation about COVID-19, helping health workers build people’s confidence in using essential health care and support services, including those focused on gender-based violence.
Safeguarding Essential Health Services During the Pandemic
MOMENTUM collaborates with the Government of Sierra Leone to strengthen systems that monitor COVID-19 data and disruptions to essential health services. In addition, we help the government adapt national strategies, guidelines, and protocols so they can better respond to COVID-19 and better support community health workers to deliver services meeting the needs of their communities.
MOMENTUM Country and Global Leadership works with public, nonprofit, faith-based, and for-profit health providers in Sierra Leone to uphold high-quality essential health services for women, children, and communities.
- Kaneda, Greenbaum, and Haub, 2021 World Population Data Sheet.
- Statistics Sierra Leone. Sierra Leone 2015 Population and Housing Census: Thematic Report on Children, Adolescents and Youth. October 2017. https://sierraleone.unfpa.org/sites/default/files/pub-pdf/Children%2C%20adolescents%20and%20youth%20Report.pdf.
- UNICEF, “Country Profiles: Sierra Leone.”