Posted by: africanpressorganization | 2 April 2009

£16m UK boost to save mothers lives in Sierra Leone



£16m UK boost to save mothers lives in Sierra Leone


FREETOWN, Sierra Leone, April 2, 2009/African Press Organization (APO)/ — Pregnant women in Sierra Leone – where more women die giving birth than anywhere else in the world – will be given life-saving health-care thanks to a new UK scheme launched today by International Development Minister, Ivan Lewis.


Currently, women in Sierra Leone are 160 times more likely to die during childbirth compared to women in the UK, with women having a one in six chance of dying in childbirth during their lifetime.  


The UK will provide £16 million to support the Government of Sierra Leone’s Reproductive and Child Health programme (RCH). The scheme will save tens of thousands of lives by providing training for new midwives, better clinics and access to basic drugs.

Speaking after meeting with the President of Sierra Leone, Ernest Bai Koroma, in Freetown today, Ivan Lewis said:


“It is shocking that so many mothers die during child-birth in Sierra Leone, leaving children without a mother and families completely devastated.


“The lives of many mothers could be saved with access to basic health care and the help of a midwife – things that are normal for us but out-of-reach for the World’s poorest.


“It is right that we give people a fighting chance and that is why the UK is taking action to support pregnant women across Africa”.


Launched by the President of Sierra Leone in 2008 the ambitious RCH plan is a much needed kick-start and aims to reduce the number of pregnant women and children dying by 30%. The Plan includes a minimum package of essential health services including:

  • Basic health care for pregnant women and children under 5
  • Increased immunization to prevent  measles and tetanus 
  • Malaria awareness raising campaign and increase use of treated bednets
  • Promote basic hygiene to tackle completely preventable deaths from diarrhoeal illnesses


SOURCE : UK Department for International Development (DFID)


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