Ashley Crossman (2019) in his work, Sociology of Heath and illnessstates that health is merely attributed to biological or natural conditions, adding that the spread of diseases is heavily influenced by the socioeconomic status of individuals, ethnic traditions or beliefs, and other cultural factors. Health experts from World Health Organization (WHO) and other partners would also perceive health to be a state of absolute physical, mental and social wellbeing and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity. Where medical research might gather statistics on a disease, a sociological perspective of health would provide insight on what external factors are causative factors ofpoor health condition or state of illness. Most Sierra Leoneansbelieve that SierraLeonelike most African countries is still struggling in the provision of betterand proper heath care systems specifically for children. Health is one of the fundamental rights of a child, according to the Convention on the Right of a Child (CRC) which Sierra Leone has ratified as a country. Children’s rights include the right to health, education, family life, play and recreation, an adequate standard of living and to be protected from abuse and harm. Children’s rights cover their developmental and age-appropriate needs that change over time as a child grows up.Heath Experts believe that improving the health sector is a serious concern and should not be treated with levity in any country and Sierra Leone is not an exception. Infant mortality has been described by Wikepdia as “the number of deaths per 1,000 live births of children under one year of age. The rate for a given region is the number of children dying under one year of age, divided by the number of live births during the year, multiplied by 1,000.”In 2018, infant mortality rate for Sierra Leone was 79.35 deaths per thousand live births. Infant mortality rate of Sierra Leone fell gradually from 199.62 deaths per thousand live births in 1969 to 79.35 deaths per thousand live births in 2018. However this is still considered a high rate of mortality globally. Life expectancy in Sierra is amongst the lowest in the world. In Sierra Leone, life expectancy of males is 39 while that of female is 42 according to the report, reasons for such early deaths is due to limited access to safe drinking water, inadequate sanitation and hygiene, but most especially poor feeding. In Sierra Leone, I must opine that high mortality rates are mostly due to the poor health medical facilities provided in Sierra Leone. It is 2 out of 5 chances that an infant child will make it to his or her teenage years or adulthood.
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Ishmael Charles is the Programs Manager of Caritas Sierra Leone and co founder of the Sick Pikin Project helping children with critical medical conditions and known for relentless effort in supporting and raising funds for children who may require medical services at home and abroad. The Sick pekin project has supported 19 children since January 2018, and have spent a total of $296,000 inclusive of those treated out of the country, adding that they also have 11 children in the waiting list and they will be flown out of the country very soon. It should be noted that Government also supports the sick pekin project. One of the sick children – Aminata (not real name) needed $26,000 for her treatment and Ishmael noted that government has provided $12,000. He said that the remaining $14,880 was raised through donation. The Ebola Epidemic in 2014 exposed Sierra Leone’s health sector and since then, there has been numerous challengesand many children continue to be at risk. It should be notedthat the country`s Infant Mortality remains a serious concern. A number of women who die for example during pregnancy or child birth are children between the ages of 13 to 19. “If adequate equipment and health facilities are provided to hospitals, issues of Maternal and InfantMortality will not raise their ugly faces and we won’t be worried about the high mortality of women and girls during child birth” said Ishmael Charles .
ByYeanie Aminata konneh
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