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Filtering by Tag: Lauren Heinrich

Health impacts of the living conditions of people residing in informal settlements in Freetown: Report on the Future Health Systems (FHS) research in Freetown

Future Health Systems

The rapid pace of urbanisation in most countries in Africa makes urban environments a major determinant of population health. In Freetown, urban growth is associated with the proliferation of informal settlements/slums owing largely to the prevalent poverty, overcrowded and filthy living conditions. Therefore, health outcomes are generally worse with intermittent disease outbreaks which can sometimes spread beyond a single neighbourhood to overwhelm the entire city. But, while a number of studies have documented evidences on the urban health situation in Freetown, such studies have not sufficiently explained the specific and community-wide health risks that people in each informal settlement are faced with. The study describes the living conditions in informal settlements, and explore how these relate to the health of people living there, as told and understood by the residents themselves and as reported in routine statistics.

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Living conditions and health links in Freetown’s informal settlements

Future Health Systems

Living conditions of people living in urban informal settlements are characterized by inhumane conditions, underpinned by lack of essential services like water and sanitation services including toilets and waste disposal dumps, housing and health services. The current state of service provision in Freetown’s informal settlements is in part a product of growing informality, in response to gaps in the provision of public services, notably in sanitation and health care. This policy brief provides an insight into the current state of living conditions in informal settlements of Freetown and how these link to health.

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