Situation Overview and Humanitarian Needs
As of 17 May 2020, seven weeks from the time the first COVID-19 case was reported, there have been a total of 505 confirmed COVID-19 cases, 32 deaths and 141 recoveries in Sierra Leone. Altogether 12 out of 16 districts have reported cases with the highest incidence (73.9%) occurring in Western Area Urban (Freetown).
The case fatality rate (CFR) stands at 6.3% for all confirmed cases. CFR increases with age and peaks among cases aged > 60 years at 41.7%. Sixty-six (13.1%) of COVID-19 cases are among health workers, with possible community transmission now occurring. Quarantine facilities are stretched for capacity. Due to high infection in these facilities, it is expected that more health workers will be exposed to infection and fewer people will seek health services. District Health Information System (DHIS) 2 data show significant decrease in the utilization of routine health services from JanuaryMarch 2020 compared with January-March 2019.
UNICEF Sierra Leone Highlights
Nearly 120,000 children with pneumonia and 138,000 children with diarrhoea will benefit from 29,546 packs of 100 amoxicillin dispersible tablets and 138,637 packs of Oral Rehydration Salt (ORS)-zinc bundles that UNICEF has distributed across the country to support continued access to health care services during COVID-19.
Weekly radio programmes on COVID-19 have been broadcast on 40 community radio stations across the country, with a specific focus on the impact of COVID-19 crisis on children.
UNICEF’s support to the Directorate of Science, Technology and Innovation (DSTI) is paving the way for use of drone interventions to monitor population movements, delivery of vaccines and health commodities and transportation of specimen samples.
The 116 toll-free hotline supported by UNICEF and UNFPA has received over 500 calls daily with cases of gender based violence (GBV) and domestic violence being reported in addition to general inquiries.
Children are continuing to access school lessons through UNICEF-supported radio education programmes.