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MSF opens new maternity hospital in Kenema

MSF Hangha Hospital

Sierra Leone has made significant progress in reducing the burden of maternal mortality. However, the maternal death ratio remains very high with 717 deaths per 100,000 live births in 2019. Kenema district has one of the highest maternal mortality rates in Sierra Leone, according to the Ministry of Health and Sanitation (MoHS) data for 2021.

 This is why today, the medical humanitarian organization Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) has opened a maternity centre at Hangha hospital, in Kenema District, to provide emergency care to pregnant women.

“No woman should die by giving birth. Our hospital will do its best to reduce and if possible, prevent maternal death,” says Dr Rodnie Senat-Delva, the hospital’s medical director. “We will address priority care for women with high risks pregnancy”.

The new maternity hospital has two operating theatres, 24 beds for neonatal care, including an Intensive Care Unit (ICU), and 43 beds in the maternity wards. This will bring the total admission of MSF’s Hangha hospital to 164 beds. The hospital has already offered paediatric services to over 18,000 children under five in the past three years. These services include an emergency room, a paediatric intensive care unit, an inpatient therapeutic feeding centre, a general paediatric ward and an isolation ward for suspected Lassa fever cases.

“The opening of this new maternity underscores MSF’s commitment to the provision of high quality, free-of-charge health care for women and children in Sierra Leone,” says Jennifer Duncombe, MSF Head of Operations in Sierra Leone. “We anticipate that this facility will ultimately result in reductions in maternal and infant morbidity and mortality in Kenema District.”

In addition to the medical services provided at Hangha hospital, MSF is also supporting primary healthcare units and community-based activities in several chiefdoms in the Kenema district to ensure people in remote and inaccessible areas also have good access to healthcare, as well as supporting referring patients from Peripheral Health Units (PHUs) to MSF Hangha Hospital, or Kenema General Hospital.

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