One of the challenges faced by the staff in health facilities in Sierra Leone is that a proportion of children are brought in when they are already very sick, often with infections like malaria and pneumonia. Despite the staff's best efforts, it is hard to treat these children arriving late in their illness and, tragically, many die.
Members of the Welbodi Partnership team wanted to explore why this is happening and have been conducting a research study over the past 6 months, which includes house-to-house surveys of caregivers of children under 5 and in depth interviews with some of these caregivers about the choices that they make when their child has a fever.
Whilst the analysis is still ongoing, Dr Fred Martineau and Dr Emily Spry were able to present preliminary results last week at the national conference of the Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene at Warwick University. Dr Sandra Lako is the third member of the research team.
Watch this space for news on further publication of their findings, which we hope will be useful to the Welbodi Partnership, the Children's Hospital and other partners in Freetown.