Press Release : Maligning Sierra Leone’s good image abroad
Published on December 3, 2010 by Cocorioko News · No Comments
By Elizabeth Foray , Press Attache, Sierra Leone Embassy to the U.S :
ashington D.C.: It has come to the attention of the Embassy of the Republic of Sierra Leone in Washington D.C. also accredited to Canada that certain persons are in the habit of maligning Sierra Leone’s good image for their selfish interests. A particular reference is made to a claim by a certain Mrs. Memuna Dura Kamara in the Edmonton Journal (Canada) of 20th November 2010, in which she stated: “In my area, when you are pregnant, when it comes time to (deliver) your baby, they take you to the forest and say you have to hide from the men. They don’t want men to hear, to know where the babies are coming from. They will take you to a hiding place and more than 10 people will surround you to help you, but if you die, they will bury you in the same place … I want to stop all those things. I want them to know doctors are very important.”
Such claims are utterly false and purposive towards eliciting sympathies and subsequently funds from unsuspecting philanthropists and charitable organizations, who sadly do not always crosscheck such information when received, with the Embassy or other appropriate Sierra Leone authorities.
We would also like to point out that it has never been the practice anywhere in Sierra Leone for anybody to die of a natural or accidental cause and be buried without first making a report to the authorities.
It is noteworthy that Sierra Leone has made laudable progress towards reducing Infant and Maternal Mortality rates by providing free healthcare service delivery for pregnant women, lactating mothers as well as infants under the age of five –everywhere in the country.
This health drive is being monitored by the Ministry of Health and Sanitation to ensure among other things that no woman dies during childbirth because of lack of access to health service.
To further improve the health sector, the government has in addition, increased the salaries of doctors and nurses, increased heath centers around the country and mounted an intense campaign for the immunization of affected women and children. The Maternal and Infant Mortality rates have therefore recorded a steady decline –from 134 deaths per a thousand in 2005 to 123 in 2009 (according to National Statistics); and they are still declining.
1st Dec 2010.