As the eighty-man committee selected to review the 1991 Constitution of Sierra Leone continues its work, Save the Children International and partners have presented a recommendation to the Constitutional Review Committee for the free healthcare initiative to be included in the revised constitution.
Reading a release to journalists at the Council of Churches in Sierra Leone (CCSL) conference hall on Kingharman Road in Freetown, Monday, 27 April, Manager for Everyone Campaign at Save the Children said prior to the introduction of the free healthcare initiative, the country was recording one of the lowest survival rates for children and women during childbirth.
Joana Tom Kargbo reckoned that the country was commemorating the 5th anniversary of the free healthcare initiative which was launched by President Ernest Bai Koroma on 27 April, 2010 and geared towards reducing unacceptable deaths of vulnerable pregnant women, lactating mothers and children under five.
She said President Koroma launched the initiative with the intention to reverse Sierra Leone’s unenviable position as one of the deadliest places in the world to give birth and to be born, noting that World Bank statistics indicated that one woman died while giving birth in every 112 births in Sierra Leone, 2.5 times higher than in Ghana, 42.4 times higher than in the United States of America, and 222.5 times higher than in Sweden. She continued that nearly one in five children born in Sierra Leone dies before they reach the age of five.