In May we celebrate the International Days of the Midwives and Nurses. Professional delivery care wasn’t the norm in Sierra Leone at the beginning of this Millenia especially in rural areas where expectant mothers usually deliver at home. Back then and until today, Sierra Leone has one of the highest maternal mortality rates in the world, with an estimated 1,165 deaths per 100,000 live births, according to the UN’s most recent data.
Magbenteh Community hospital Maternity ward was the first clinic to open in 2006. Maternal care has been a focus for the organization and within a few years, we were able to add a Female ward, Antenatal clinic, and Family Planning units. MCH serves more than 3000 female patients per year requesting any of the mentioned services. Also, the maternity ward has been the best in the area and has maintained a last than 1% maternal death in deliveries for the past 5 years
However, with the COVID 19 outbreak starting in March, the health sector has been badly affected either by the shortage of medical supplies or because of the fear and rumors that have resurfaced from the Ebola outbreak in 2014. Expectant families are reluctant to seek professional care provided by the ANC and Maternity departments due to rumors and fear of either being injected by the virus or contaminated by the Staff. If community fears continue to not be properly addressed, a study estimates an additional Maternal death that will reach up, in worst-case scenarios, to 56,700 death over the coming 6 months. MCH Midwives are working non-stop to provide quality care to patients and supporting mothers to safely deliver their babies during these tough times. Also, the staff would like to assure their patients that they are implementing the infection prevention and control measurements, wearing their protective gear in delivery rooms and clinics.