Sierra Leone is a country in West Africa with 6 million inhabitants.
Despite its richness in minerals (Sierra Leone is among the top ten diamond producing nations) it remains among the world’s poorest countries, ranking 180th out of 187 countries in the Human Development Index in 2011.
The 60% of Sierra Leoneans live below the national poverty line, and the child mortality rate is one of the highest in the world: malaria, malnutrition, respiratory and gastrointestinal infections are the main causes.
In 2013 a cholera outbreak affected tens of thousands of people, sometimes deadly.
Sanitary conditions in Sierra Leone are really poor, due to the lack of quality medical services.
In 2001, EMERGENCY, an Italian ONG, opened a Surgical Centre in Goderich, a small village close to Freetown, the capital of Sierra Leone.
Since 2001 Emergency’s staff has treated 425.729 people for free.
Unpredictably, many patients who arrive to the Emergency’s Surgical Centre are victims of traffic accidents. This is mainly due to excessive speeding and poor road conditions in the West African nation. In addition to this, Sierra Leone receive old vehicles from richer countries, which are unsafe and would need maintenance.
Consequences of road accidents are made more severe by the presence of broken stones on the roads edges, used to fill the ditches.
Working as rock breakers for the country’s construction industry is very common. It’s a hard job which consists in breaking stones with a hummer for hours. Sales are sporadic and unpredictable.
Sierra Leone’s economy grew by over 20% last year, but Sierra Leoneans aren’t experiencing any advantage: the exploitation of their land seems to be a never ending story.