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뉴스소중한 생명을 구하는 시에라리온의 모자 보건 프로그램

2010.01.01

* UNICEF supports free healthcare programme for mothers and children in Sierra Leone
* 시간: 02 min 15 secs
* 촬영도시: Freetown,
* 촬영국가: Sierra Leone
* 촬영일자: 28 Apr 2010


28 year old Zanaib Conteh is four months pregnant. Having suffered a fall, she is in severe pain and has sustained trauma to her abdomen.


She is rushed to the front of the line at hospital in Freetown, Sierra Leone - and quickly receives attention.


Yesterday Zanaib's family might have waited to bring her to the hospital for fear of incurring a fee. Today however, things are different.


SOUNDBITE Osman Kamara, Zanaid's Brother-in-law:
"if it wasn't for free healthcare, we would have had to go into debt."


The healthcare system is severely under resourced to deal with the population of nearly 6 million.


In a bold move the government of Sierra Leone have announced universal free healthcare to pregnant and lactating women and children under 5.


SOUNDBITE (English) Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma, President of Sierra Leone:
"It became a common practice for health workers to charge vulnerable patients to make up for inadequate salaries. From today this will change."


Following the announcement women and children have flocked to hospitals and clinics around the country.


SOUNDBITE Isa Tusannoh, Mother
"Some of us don't have money to come to the hospital but now with this free healthcare we can bring our children."


The rolling out of the free health care has involved months of painstaking planning.


The government, with technical and logistical support from UNICEF and with funding from DFID have created a strong supply chain to hospitals and peripheral health units to ensure they are stocked with 1 years worth of supplies.


All health workers have received substantial pay rises to serve as an added incentive them in embracing the changes.


SOUNDBITE (English) Dr Michael Koroma, Hospital Administrator Princess Christian Maternity Hospital:
"We have already started changing our attitudes - make sure we concentrate on our job and provide quality care without collecting money from patients."


Sierra Leone seems well on its way to improving the lives of its citizens and rising above its difficult past.