Typhoid in Sierra Leone

Typhoid is one of the most common infectious diseases in Sierra Leone, caused by the bacteria Salmonella typhimurium. The bacteria lives in the intestines and bloodstreams of humans, spread through the contamination of food and water. In a developing country such as Sierra Leone, typhoid is more common risk, especially with poor hygiene in food handling at local food stalls called ‘cookery-buffers’ where the majority purchase their meals on a daily basis.

One of the Community Health Officers at Magbenteh Community Hospital explains further, “Typhoid is transmission of germs from the infected party when the potential victim ingests food handled by an infected party without proper disinfection. In extreme cases, typhoid can lead to typhoid perforation a condition which can be fixed by surgery. This may require exploratory surgery of the abdomen to locate the perforations. Typhoid can be prevented through observing proper hygiene and vaccinations.”

Since January 2018 Magbenteh Community Hospital has executed 3,659 typhoid tests of which 1,839 were diagnosed as positive cases. Now that rainy season has begun we expect to see the number of cases rise.