Sierra Leone among World Countries with “poorest health indicators”: Catholic Charity

Flag of Sierra Leone. Credit: Public Domain

A Catholic Charity organization in Sierra Leone has said the West African nation has some of the “poorest health indicators” in the world, which have been caused by COVID-19 and other diseases that have claimed the lives of masses in the country.

In a Tuesday, July 20 report, Catholic Medical Mission Board (CMMB) says Sierra Leone is still experiencing effects of other diseases, including Ebola and malaria that were there before COVID-19, a situation officials of the charity say, has lowered life expectancy.  

“Sierra Leone has some of the poorest health indicators of any country in the world. The average life expectancy sits at 49 for men and 51 for women. Rates of malaria, typhoid, cholera, and child mortality have stayed discouragingly high,” officials of the Catholic entity say.

They note that Ebola, which dealt a blow to the country’s health system, adversely affected the country before COVID-19.

“In 2014, Ebola tore through the West African nations of Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone. The disease, which is less contagious but far more deadly than COVID-19, shut down these countries for nearly two years until the outbreak was declared over,” CMMB officials say in their July 20 report.


Some of the diseases affecting people in the Western African country are caused by people’s lifestyle, officials of the “international, faith-based NGO providing long-term, co-operative, medical and development aid to communities affected by poverty and unequal access to healthcare” further say.

“Factors, such as the importation of cheaper processed foods and the local production of palm oil, have driven the increase of new health conditions such as diabetes, which was once considered a disease only the wealthy could get,” they explain.

As the rest of the world recovers from the effects of COVID-19, Sierra Leone and other similar countries might be left behind due to a strained health system, CMMB officials further say, and add, “It is important to remember the far-reaching consequences of such an event. Additionally, there are still hundreds of millions around the world for whom good health or stable income had never been a guarantee,” the officials say.

Sierra Leon suffered economic instability when lockdowns were imposed to contain the spread of the coronavirus, they note, and add, “At the same time, the economic impact of the lockdowns resulted in aid agencies having their funding cut and stretched, impacting programming for the world’s poorest nations.”

In their July 20 report, CMMB officials highlight their partnership with like-minded charities in view of stabilizing the health system in the West African country as authorities make efforts to control the spread of COVID-19.

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“CMMB, along with partners like the ‘Bread and Water for Africa’ and the ‘Rural Youth Development Organization’ is working to make sure that patients have access to high quality medication and a chance to flourish,” CMMB officials say.