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Improving Nutrition in Sierra Leone

Mohammed  meets Minister of State Joe Costello during a visit to the hospital in 2012

Mohammed meets Minister Joe Costello during a visit to the hospital in 2012.

Mohammed is now getting back to full health. His future looks bright!

During his visit to Sierra Leone last summer Minister Joe Costello visited a centre in Freetown, supported by Irish Aid, where severely malnourished children are cared for. He met five year old Mohammed who has made a great recovery since being admitted to the centre suffering from acute malnutrition.

Just two years previously in Eastern Freetown, staff from the Ministry of Health came across Mohammed and became concerned that he was severely malnourished and neglected by his family.

They admitted him to the Stabilization Centre at the Ola During Children’s Hospital where he got the medical and therapeutic treatment he needed. Mohammed is now fit and healthy and attends the local primary school.

As a result of Ireland’s support to the Stabilisation Centre at Ola During, Mohammed is now a healthy and lively boy and is attending his local school.

The centre at Ola During Children’s Hospital admits on average 66 children like Mohammed every month. And following care and treatment nearly all go on to make a full recovery.

Only the most severely affected children, like Mohammed, need to be admitted to the Hospital. Most children suffering from malnutrition can attend the outpatients department on a regular basis and are cared for at home with their families. This reduces the costs to Government health services and is usually easier for the family. 

For children whose malnutrition is too advanced for home treatment or for those who have complications such as malaria, the stabilisation centres are vital. 

Despite some improvement since the end of the war in 2002, nearly a third of all children in Sierra Leone continue to suffer from malnutrition, which can have long term effects on their health and wellbeing.

Tackling malnutrition is a core part of Irish Aid’s work in Sierra Leone and with our support, there are now 19 stabilisation centres across the country.

We work closely with our partners UNICEF, WFP and the Ministry of Health and Sanitation and since 2007, have provided almost €16 million for the prevention and management of malnutrition.

Did you Know?

Support for the identification and treatment of malnutrition contributed to a twelve-fold increase in the number of children treated for severe acute malnutrition from 2,950 in 2007 to 35,000 children in 2011. On average, 93% of these children are cured.

Read more about Irish Aid's work on nutrition.