Maternal Health in Sierra Leone

As world leaders meet at the United Nations in New York to discuss increased funding for healthcare in developing countries, Amnesty International's Secretary General Irene Khan has launched a campaign to reduce maternal deaths in Sierra Leone. The report Out of Reach: The Cost of Maternal Health in Sierra Leone uses graphic and personal testimonials to show how women and girls are often unable access lifesaving treatment because they are too poor to pay for it. In Sierra Leone, one in eight women risk dying during pregnancy or childbirth. This is one of the highest maternal death rates in the world. Thousands of women bleed to death after giving birth. Most die in their homes. Some die on the way to hospital; in taxis, on motorbikes or on foot. In Sierra Leone, less than half of deliveries are attended by a skilled birth attendant and less than one in five are carried out in health facilities.

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