Sierra Leone is a country in West Africa, with an estimated population of close to seven million people. Between 1991 and 2002, the country experienced a civil war that left more than 50,000 people dead and its infrastructure destroyed with over two million people displaced. The country’s economy is yet to fully recover after the effects of the civil war.
Mothers in Sierra Leone face one of the highest lifetime risks of maternal death in the world, with 1 in 8 likely to die during pregnancy or childbirth. Women in Sierra Leone are at four times greater risk of dying in childbirth than those in Afghanistan. The country has been ranked as one of the lowest three, in terms of the Mothers’ Index, which assesses the well-being of mothers and children. Millions of women and children die annually from preventable health-related conditions, a situation that has been further compounded by the spread of the Ebola virus.