Corruption in healthcare in Sierra Leone is a taboo – but it does exist
09 Mar 2017

CCTV cameras scan the triage area, as women in brightly coloured fabric line up with their children. A painting on the wall shows a lady with a baby strapped on her back under the sign “yu nor de pay no money”. At the children’s clinic where I work, healthcare is free. This is something that is not taken for granted here. In Sierra Leone, as in many parts of the world, healthcare often comes with a catch.

Corruption in healthcare is a taboo subject, with both patients and staff often reluctant to admit its existence. But it does exist. And it extends from mismanagement at high levels of government to bribes and unauthorised charges for frontline services. It is widespread and under-reported and can have devastating consequences.

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