A desperate and largely unknown humanitarian crisis is deteriorating in the Lake Chad Basin region of West Africa, forcing millions of people to flee their homes and leaving millions more in need of humanitarian assistance. Oxfam is providing life-saving support but help is urgently needed to prevent the crisis turning into a catastrophe.
Millions of women throughout the world are the victims of poverty and conflict. Women are particularly vulnerable due to their status as mothers and primary care-givers for the family. Many of them cannot access basic health services during pregnancy or when giving birth, increasing the risk of maternal mortality.
Oxfam applauds the government of Sierra Leone on announcing plans (April 2010) for free healthcare program for pregnant women, breast-feeding mothers and children under five. We look forward to seeing its results.
Sierra Leone has one of the highest maternal mortality rate in the world. Thousands of child orphans, who must stay with relatives or friends of the family, further suffer the consequences of this dire situation – one that could be greatly improved if the population had access to healthcare.