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Germany boosts free health care with nutritional support in Sierra Leone

Germany boosts free health care with nutritional support in Sierra Leone

Freetown – The Government of the Federal Republic of Germany has donated €500,000 to the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) for food assistance to 50,000 pregnant and nursing women and 12,000 malnourished children under five years in Sierra Leone.

By reducing infant and maternal deaths, the contribution complements the Government of Sierra Leone’s free health care initiative.

Malnutrition in pregnant women can lead to low child birth weight, and anaemic and undernourished nursing mothers cannot provide exclusive breastfeeding to their children.

“This donation could not have come at a better time, especially when many people are now accessing free health care services at various peripheral health units. We want to thank the Government of Germany for this generous donation and to laud the efforts of WFP in providing safety nets for the vulnerable,” said Chief Medical Officer Dr. Kisito Daoh.

The donation will enable WFP to provide supplementary feeding to moderately malnourished pregnant women and nursing mothers and to children under five. Severe cases of malnutrition are dealt with through therapeutic feeding centres supported by the Ministry of Health and Sanitation, UNICEF and medical NGOs.

Sierra Leone has some of the world’s highest maternal and child death rates, and child malnutrition is one of the major causes of child mortality. Anaemia is prevalent among women and children.

“Nutritional support to vulnerable women and children is an essential component of basic health care, which greatly contributes to saving lives and attracting beneficiaries to the health centres,” said WFP Sierra Leone Country Representative Christa Räder.

Joint work on scaling up nutrition interventions will soon be expanded under the REACH Ending Child Hunger and Undernutrition partnership, recently rolled out in Sierra Leone by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization, UNICEF, WFP and the World Health Organization.

“We hope this food assistance will not only help to reduce maternal and child mortality but will give future generations the opportunity to live up to their full mental and physical potential and to make a difference in the development of their country,” said the Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany to Sierra Leone, Dr. Thomas Freudenhammer.


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