- Associated Press - Wednesday, September 7, 2011

FREETOWN, SIERRA LEONE (AP) - Amnesty International says some pregnant girls and women in Sierra Leone are still being denied access to free government health care.

The report released Tuesday says some women are being asked to pay for medication although the West African nation launched a free health care initiative more than a year ago. However, the report also says that the initiative means more women are getting maternity care.

The rights group is calling for more accountability and monitoring.

The country’s chief medical officer Dr. Sheku Daoh says the report is “not bad, although some of it is exaggerated.”

Sierra Leone’s rates of maternal and child mortality are among the highest in the world. The impoverished country is still struggling to recover from a bloody civil war between 1991 and 2002.

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