International Women’s Day – What For The Ordinary Salone Woman?

It’s been a while since I posted, but after having my “chilled coconut” (hmmm..mm.. swit salone!) I thought, at least of all days I should post today. Of course, today being the day we celebrate women and their achievements throughout the world, I wonder what can be done to improve the lives of ordinary Sierra Leonean Woman.

For starters, the President has announced free health care for all nursing women and all children under 5 starting from the 27th of April (Independence Day). That, for me is good news, considering the dire and abject state of maternal care in this country.

It’s just not too long ago – actually roughly 10 days ago – 25th Feb to be exact – I had to drive around looking for a doctor for my 15-month old baby who was unwell and receiving disappointing “No doctor” answers both at Choitrams and Marie Stopes. In the end, in my desperation, I remembered, I had a paediatrician friend and called her. She saved my day!

The question is “What if I didn’t know anyone?” That’s how people – especially children die – needlessly here in Salone. We just thank God for good health and continue to do so. But the health care needs fixing BAAAAAAAAAADDDLYYYYY! Hope someone is reading or listening.To cut the long story short,

Here my wish FOUR main wishes for all women in Salone:

#1. To get access to financing, micro financing
A lot of women are the breadwinners of the family working hard in the workplace, market place, farms, hospitals etc.and the sooner this is recognized the better. Even the Business Bomba is a woman and there where many women winners among the Top 20. (Click To Read) Better loan facilities will enable women who have entrepreneural spirit to acheive their dreams.

#2. Curtailing Of Violence To Women
Recent cases of violence against women and girl children simply beggars belief! It makes for difficult writing but rapes, domestic violence ought to be brought to book and dealt with severely in the court of law.

According to police stats, 927 cases of rape and violence against women were reported last year and NOT EVEN ONE WAS SUCCESSFULLY prosecuted!!

It’s no wonder, the incidences are increasing. The male criminals are able to get away with it! Sometimes SADLY with the help of the victims family who settle for money out of court. Perhaps they’ve no confidence in the police or they succumb to intimidation or even, the lure of a few Leones proves to much to ignore.

#3. Education of Women
Was it not our very own Dr Kwame Nkrumah who said “…to educate a woman is to educate a whole nation?” I mean this is obvious. Since women, normally take the bigger share of child rearing, it goes without saying that, an educated woman will pass on what she’s learnt – e.g. better personal hygiene, better sanitation in the home etc and all this will mean better home, neighbourhood and therefore nation.

#4. Better Maternal Health Care
I have mentioned this above already, and will mention it again. The healthcare in Salone, is abysmal and the maternal health care is so low it’s subterranian! I mean women and children die needlessly. I know, because, of all my friends, I was “the brave one” to use the maternal services available here. All the women, I know went abroad to have their babies. This sector needs dire help and I’m glad the government is moving in the right direction.

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