Supporting pregnant women in Sierra Leone

Sankarie Fofana is a member of the women's collective savings and loan program in in Falaba. Photo: Freccia Learson

Sunkarie Fofanah lives in Falaba village in Sierra Leone. She and her husband Hassan lived happily in the early days of their marriage, with Sunkarie serving as a caring mother for the three children from Hassan’s previous marriage. But when Sunkarie was unable to conceive after three years, their relationship “turned sour.”

“I enrolled with the community health club that CARE established in my village. I can still recall that memorable day when the club introduced the topic of pregnancy, safe motherhood and family planning. It was like music to my ears.

“One evening, I experienced a pain so intense I felt like I would die. My husband was so worried that early the next morning he took me to the health center. The health officer immediately referred me to a specialist. We had no option but travel to Makeni, the regional capital, which is about 150 miles from my village. We were able to get a loan from my village savings and loan association and travelled to the hospital. The doctor found a growth in my womb and recommended an urgent surgical operation to remove it. It was successfully done.

“Ten months later, I was confirmed pregnant. I could not believe those subtle words from the health officer. I was so happy to be pregnant at long last. I am now an active member of the support group for pregnant women facilitated by CARE at the health center in my community, where I am regularly receiving lots of health information and services.”

Learn more about CARE's work to improve maternal, newborn and child health.


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