Utilization Of Essential Under 5 Health Services In Sierra Leone During The Covid 19 Outbreak


  • Jedidah Olayinka Johnson University of Sierra Leone Teaching Hospital Complex, Ola During Children’s Hospital, Freetown, Sierra Leone.


COVID-19, under 5 Children, essential healthcare services, healthcare workers, Sierra Leone



In a health crisis the focus of health systems shifts away from providing essential health services to the management and containment of the crisis. This has devastating effects on vulnerable children under the age of five. This study was conducted to determine the utilization of essential health services for children under 5 in the Western area rural district of Freetown during the COVID-19 outbreak.


A mixed methods study which included a household survey on the caregivers of children under 5 and a qualitative interview study on healthcare workers was conducted to determine the utilization of essential health services during the outbreak. The data collected was then analyzed using SPSS (quantitative) and thematic analysis (qualitative)


Over 90% of respondents stated that they had under 5 health cards and 99% had sought routine immunization services for the under 5 children at a health care facility at least once. 26% of respondents stated that there was a decrease in their utilization of essential under 5 health services as a consequence of the COVID-19 outbreak. Healthcare workers also noticed a decreased demand for under 5 health services in healthcare facilities across the district.


There has been a significant decline in the utilization of under 5 healthcare services as a result of the COVID 19 outbreak. Health authorities and policy makers have to prioritize maintaining services to mitigate the potential consequences on children under the age of 5.

Author Biography

Jedidah Olayinka Johnson, University of Sierra Leone Teaching Hospital Complex, Ola During Children’s Hospital, Freetown, Sierra Leone.

Department of Pediaitrics

Medical Officer


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How to Cite

Johnson, J. O. (2022). Utilization Of Essential Under 5 Health Services In Sierra Leone During The Covid 19 Outbreak. The Nigerian Health Journal, 21(4), 187–202. Retrieved from https://www.tnhjph.com/index.php/tnhj/article/view/537

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