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Health care in Sierra Leone

People in Sierra Leone are starting to rebuild their lives following the deadly Ebola outbreak.

The disease claimed nearly 4,000 lives in the West African nation and has had a huge impact on communities.

Sierra Leone was declared free of Ebola in November 2015, but its impact will be felt for many years to come.

Safe burials saved lives

New research suggests that courageous Red Cross volunteers who carried out safe burials for people who died of Ebola could have prevented thousands of new cases.

Health risks

Ebola is not the only disease that Sierra Leoneans have had to contend with. They face a number of diseases stemming from dirty water and hygiene issues.

Only 60 per cent of the population has access to safe drinking water. Dirty water gives rise to waterborne diseases such as diarrhoea, cholera and typhoid.

Working with the Sierra Leone Red Cross, the British Red Cross is supporting a community-based health programme.

It has five key aims: 

  • Reducing the risk of disease outbreaks
  • Preparing communities to respond to health emergencies 
  • Raising awareness about maternal health care 
  • Improving access to clean water and toilets 
  • Strengthening the Sierra Leone Red Cross

Following the Ebola outbreak, the programme has been modified to help communities recover and move on from Ebola.

How we're helping in Sierra Leone

Moyamba Red Cross branch Mothers´club volunteers in a back yard garden

Find out how the Red Cross is improving community-based health care in Sierra Leone.

find out more >

Ebola outbreak: stories from West Africa

Red Cross workers in Liberia, who were called to remove the body of an Ebola victim from her home

Stories, pictures and videos from Red Cross workers and communities touched by Ebola.

Ebola voices >