A year after the country was declared free of the virus, maternity care and family planning remain starved of funding

Mamie Gibila travelled across choppy waters for almost four hours last week to reach a hospital. She was midway through labour with twins. The first baby was born at home, but she was unable to deliver the second and urgently needed medical attention.

Gibila lives in the town of Mina in the district of Bonthe, which comprises several islands off Sierra Leone, and the closest hospital is 105 nautical miles away. The journey, she says, was foul. When she arrived, it was too late to save her second baby.

In these island communities people don’t come to the hospital until they are deeply sick

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