Sierra Leone government eliminates medical fees for children and pregnant women, resulting in huge increase in patients

by Adam Nossiter

Clinics like this one in Tumbu have been jammed since Sierra Leone ended some fees in 2010 Photo: Sven Torfinn/New York Times

WATERLOO, Sierra Leone — The paramedic’s eyes were bloodshot, his features drawn. Pregnant women jammed into the darkened concrete bunker, just as they had yesterday and would tomorrow. The increase in patients had been fivefold, or tenfold. The exhausted paramedic had lost count in a blur of uninterrupted examinations and deliveries.

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