Mothers Shun Health Centers for Fear of Ebola

Mothers Shun Health Centers for Fear of Ebola

Intense surveillance in Kambia, Sierra Leone, reveals that around 75% of deaths have been occurring in children under five as mothers are still afraid of Ebola and don’t take their young children to health centers for regular screening.
World Health Organization (WHO) epidemiologists are countering misperceptions to get mothers and their children back to the health centers and lower childhood mortality rates, WHO reported.
To understand why and then to find ways to encourage mothers to bring their children back to the health centers, teams of WHO epidemiologists and community engagement specialists have been speaking with small focus groups of mothers with children under five in chiefdoms where child mortality rates are very high.
“The women here don’t come to the health center, because they are afraid. The rumor among mothers is that, if they take the child to the health center, the child will get Ebola. I have not had a single patient for the past six months,” said Musiga Kibbeh, who runs the nearest health center.

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