How Lack Of Health Services Affects Those In Sierra Leone

For the past years, Sierra Leone has been no stranger to civil wars and disease outbreaks, leaving hundreds and thousands of individuals traumatized in one of the planet’s poorest countries.

In addition, the people who reside in Sierra Leone have little to no access to health services. The World Health Organization (WHO) also claimed that about 10 percent of the nation’s population are suffering from various mental health problems. This number doesn’t include unreported cases of psychosis, depression and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), which is why it could be higher.

One of the reasons as to why psychological help is difficult to acquire is because there are only two psychiatrists who are in practice in this country. As a result, the children growing up in adversity have this form of stress that can have very damaging effects on their behavioral patterns and health conditions throughout their life.

With more than half of the seven million who lives in Sierra Leone, people are experiencing extreme poverty, misery and daily hardships. The toxic stress experienced by these individuals can amplify and trigger numerous mental health problems.

Those who desperately seek some kind of medical assistance turn to the 45,000 shrines of traditional healers. It took a long time before any political will was able to change the current situation.

While some people despite the difficult situations are getting on with their lives, their circumstances must not be neglected. There are organizations from all around the globe who have set some projects in action. The main goal is the health and security of those in Sierra Leone.

The project by the European Journalism Center (EJC) via the Global Health Journalism Grant Programme for Germany is one of many projects that aim to provide the people of Sierra Leone access to medical assistance, both physical and mental.

Another project involves a school established by an NGO, by the name of We Yone Child (Our Own Children), for the benefit of 200 children to have a better shot at education. The structure has been built from corrugated iron and wood.

Individuals, medical experts and practitioners, professionals, activists and NGOs have come together to help Sierra Leone come out of a dreadful situation.

fishermen Traditional fishermen carry fish nets to the Goderich Market in Sierra Leone's capital Freetown on April 10, 2019. SAIDU BAH/AFP/Getty Images