From 2014 to 2016, a severe Ebola outbreak rocked the country, infecting and killing thousands of people. While the economy has begun to rebound, the outlook remains challenging. The country is now facing challenges arising from COVID-19, with schools closed, movement restricted, rising food insecurity, an increase in cases of gender-based violence, and high inflation.
Sierra Leone also has one of the world highest maternal mortality rates in the world at 1,165 per 100,000 live births in 2017. Concern is focusing on strengthening quality, expanding access, and building the demand for reproductive, maternal, neonatal, child & adolescent health (RMNCAH) services within the Saving Lives in Sierra Leone programme.
There is also a high level of teenage pregnancies in Sierre Leone, with studies showing that almost 45% of girls aged 19 are pregnant or have already given birth (DHS, 2019). We are working to implement the Adolescent Sexual and Reproductive Health (ASRH) project, alongside integrated projects focusing on education, gender equality and SRGBV.
Our teams also continue to respond to emergencies, including floods and fires, in our operational areas.