Sunday, March 02, 2008

Poor Health in Sierra Leone

The BBC has been carrying a series of reports from a medical clinic in Sierra Leone and it makes dire reading . Needless to say , poverty as both a cause of illness and a problem in providing health -care is highlighted but no more so than in its latest instalment .

"The biggest emergency ...has been a possible case of pre-eclampsia - a condition where the pregnant woman has high blood pressure and swells up. It may kill both the baby and the mother. We knew she might have pre-eclampsia and that she needed to go to the hospital as quickly as possible. We called her relatives and told them that they must take her to the hospital - fast. First they pleaded with us, saying, "Please let her stay. She will make it... she can deliver here." They were worried about possible medical fees at the hospital..."

Sometimes we refer people and they don't have the money - they tell us they are going to the hospital and then they go home. It is really difficult to convince people in the community here as they are poor and don't always understand how serious certain conditions are...Patients who come to our clinic pay between $1 and $2 for treatment, less than at the hospital. But we don't have the facilities, drugs or the equipment to treat serious cases, so we have to refer them.

1 comment:

blackstone said...

Yeah, i think this is probably one of the things that anger me the most and one of the problems that definately need to be overcome. How can we provide adequate health care available to all in underdeveloped nations?