Health and Sanitation
Years of conflict have had a major impact on the health status of Sierra Leoneans, which the health sector now has to respond to under very difficult conditions. The health service delivery in the District is seen to have markedly improved after the destruction caused by the war but the state of health in many of the wards is still seen to be poor. Physical distance to health care facilities and the in adequate availability of drugs and other medical supplies in most of the areas represent a major barrier to accessing health care.
The District Health Management Team has iodized salt and nutrition surveillance programs in place as interventions to sustain the promotion of good nutrition. These programs further strengthen the regular sessions of growth monitoring held by the maternal and child health clinics at the sub-district levels. The District also has Vitamin A supplementary feeding programs at the PHUs.
The District Health management Team has undertaken immunization programs, aimed at building the resistance of children against the six childhood killer diseases that is measles, diphtheria, whooping cough and tetanus. The current national crusade of sensitizing the public on these childhood killer diseases is on course in the district, as most residents in the district appeared to have heard or known about the diseases. The District takes part in the sensitization of the HIV/ AIDS programs. The PHUs now have solar refrigerators, which have been installed. The proximity of the district to Freetown and Bo also makes it easy for people living in the district to access general and specialist health services in these towns.
Common Illnesses and Diseases in the District
In the household survey of the sample communities, several illnesses and diseases were found to affect the residents in the district. These diseases were confirmed from the health department, whose report summarized them as the top ten diseases presented as malaria, diarrhea, skin diseases ulcer, hypertension, pneumonia, anemia, intestinal worms, rheumatism, ear infection, onchocerciais.
The causes and prevalence of the above diseases include the breeding of mosquitoes in stagnant waters, poor sanitation, improper disposal of water and refuse, the use of contaminated water, unhealthy dietary habits and lack of preventive personal health care by most residents because of their ignorance. The six childhood killer diseases could be found in the district, with measles being the commonest and diphtheria being the least common. According to the District Health Management Team performance report, teenage pregnancy is a source of worry in the district.
With regard to knowledge about HIV/AIDs most residents of the district showed some knowledge and understanding (awareness) of HIV/AIDs, it was however difficult to ascertain the level of incidence of HIV/AIDs in the district. The Ministry has established Voluntary Confidential counseling Team with the district hospitals with two counselors.
Distribution of PHUs and Health Staff within the District
As shown below, the District has the total number of Maternity Child health posts, community health centers, Community Health Posts and Health staff serving the various populations of the chiefdoms and Primary Health Care.
PHU Staff Employment Status
District Health Management Team Employment Status
There is one Government referral hospital in Moyamba.
Problems of the Health Sector
The health problems identified in the District include:
1. Inadequate health centers,
2. Inadequate health personnel and equipment,
3. Untimely payment of personnel (doctors, nurses, technicians, pharmacists, and mid-wives)
4. Inadequate drugs at health centers,
5. Inadequate working tools and structures for trained personnel
6. Lack of adequate knowledge about HIV/AIDS and TB,
7. Inadequate trained and qualified personnel,
8. Difficulty in settling medical bills by community members,
9. Inadequate accommodation for health workers,
10. Inadequate utility vehicles to transport logistics,
11. Slow absorption of trained personnel.