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U.K.-Supported Initiative In Sierra Leone Aims To Reduce Maternal Mortality

The Guardian examines Evidence 4 Action (E4A), an initiative recently launched in Sierra Leone with support from the U.K. Department for International Development (DfID) that aims “to empower local communities to force health care up the political agenda by giving them the evidence they need to fuel arguments for higher standards.” The program, “led by Freetown obstetrician Dr. Mohamed Yilla, is based on the belief that rapid progress is possible, and maternal and baby mortality can be dealt with if everyone chooses to act,” the newspaper writes, noting “[t]he riskiest thing a woman can do in Sierra Leone is get pregnant; one in every 21 women is at risk of death in child birth.” The Guardian continues, “With the help of E4A, [the health ministry] is running quarterly surveys of clinics; data is shared with all stakeholders in the country’s health system, including politicians, community chiefs, aid agencies and [non-governmental organizations (NGOs)].” In addition, E4A’s advocacy initiative MamaYe! is training “30 journalists … to improve reporting on [blood shortages] and get the message out to men and women that their families’ survival could be helped through blood donation,” the newspaper notes (O’Carroll, 7/12).