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IPS Examines Initiative To Provide Free Health Care In Sierra Leone

Inter Press Service examines the challenges associated with Sierra Leone’s plan to provide free health care for some members of the population.

“According to a recent report by Sierra Leone’s ministry of health and sanitation, government-run hospitals saw about three times as many children under five – nearly three million – in the first 12 months of the program as in the preceding year. More than 126,000 women gave birth in hospital in the first year of the program, compared to about 87,000 in the previous year. The number of maternal complications treated in hospital increased from about 8,000 to over 20,000,” the news service reports.

“Although the number of health staff has been increased since the launch of (free health care) it is still insufficient to match the service delivery demand,” according to the report (Sama/McDiarmid, 6/20).