Infant and Child Morbidity and Mortality In Sierra Leone, A Brief Review.

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Sierra Leone, is rich in mineral resources like diamonds. It is widely known for the white sand beaches lining the Freetown peninsula and currently, continues to be among the world’s poorest countries And the Central Intelligence Agency, CIA, the average life expectancy in Sierra Leone has been estimated to 57.39years.

Mortality and Morbidity are two terms, which cannot be used interchangeably, although one can lead to the other.  Morbidity is a condition in which a person is ill or unhealthy and a leading cause of mortality, which refers to an eventual death of an unhealthy individual as a result of an ailment. Child mortality is the probability of a child dying within five years after birth. On the average, for under 5-years mortality rate, UNICEF records 110.49 per 1000live births, While WHO records it to be 105 per 1000live births.

In Sierra Leone, specific factors have been Identified as major contributors to infant/child mortality rate, most of which falls under the poor hygienic environment, which results in a high incidence of neonatal tetanus. Also, in Sierra Leone, records have shown that most of deliveries done traditionally using crude resources and this paves way for  the outbreak of preventable illness such as fevers, measles, diarrhoea, pneumonia, tuberculosis, lower respiratory infections, preterm birth complications, pneumonia, birth asphyxia and congenital anomalies.

It is on record that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, CDC, has deployed 36 public health professionals to work in Sierra Leone on immunization activities through ‘Stop the Transmission of Polio program since it’s inception in 1999. 25 of those have been field assignments, 2 for communications, 6 for data management, and 3 for measles and rubella.

Efforts are needed still, in Sub-Saharan Africa in order to prevent 80 per cent of these deaths (WHO, 2019). WHO currently calls on Member States in order to address health equity through universal health coveorder in order for all children children to have access to essential health services without undue financial hardship. Multisectoral efforts are also needed to overcome the inequalities.

Basically, the leading causes of child mortality are preventable, because the accessibility and affordability of the treatments cannot be overemphasized. The use of Insecticidal Nets for children can helpvcurb the outbreak of Malaria among infants and children. Also, there is the need to educate the people in Sierra Leone on the need to allow their crude birth delivery methods to falter.

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