Sierra Leone

We are working with the Sierra Leone Ministry of Health and Sanitation to ensure the community health workforce has the knowledge and capabilities to manage, deliver, and sustain community-based primary care in rural and remote communities.

Country Snapshot

With a population of 7.4 million people, Sierra Leone is one of the lowest-ranked countries on the Human Development Index and has among the highest rates of maternal mortality and under-five mortality in the world. Its development has been hampered by a civil war between 1991 and 2002 and more recently by the Ebola outbreak of 2014-2015.

sierra leone

Rural Population

58%

Child Mortality

109 per 1,000 live births

Maternal Mortality

1,120 per 100,000 live births

Basic Vaccine Coverage

56%

HIV Prevalence

1.6%

Health Worker Coverage

0.025 doctors per 1,000 people

*Sources: The World Bank Group, World Bank Open Data, www.data.worldbank.org; Sierra Leone Demographic and Health Survey, 2019,  https://dhsprogram.com/pubs/pdf/FR365/FR365.pdf.

Our Work

In recognition of the role community health workers played responding to the Ebola outbreak, the Ministry of Health and Sanitation embarked on a redesign and revitalization of the country’s community health worker program in 2016. In 2020, we launched a partnership with the Ministry of Health and Sanitation to support these efforts, focusing on ensuring the community health workforce has the knowledge and capabilities to manage, deliver, and sustain community-based primary care in all communities.

The initial activities in our partnership include supporting the design of a new training package for community health workers and their supervisors that is aligned with the country’s revised strategy for community health, as well as supporting the country’s COVID-19 response efforts. Collectively, these initiatives will strengthen the country’s community health workforce on a national scale, and help extend essential primary healthcare to all Sierra Leoneans.

We are supporting the Sierra Leone Ministry of Health and Sanitation to:

LEVERAGE FRONTLINE HEALTH WORKERS IN THE COVID-19 RESPONSE

In partnership with the Ministry of Health, we are adapting our COVID-19 Digital Classroom content for frontline health worker training, ensuring that content is updated and relevant for Sierra Leone’s community health workforce. The content complements existing Ministry messaging and training on COVID-19.

TRAIN HEALTH LEADERS

We aim to contribute to health system strengthening efforts by offering training for health leaders. Using the blended learning approach, we offered Community Health Academy leadership courses to health leaders in Sierra Leone. In addition, we are exploring the institutionalization of the Academy’s courses for health leaders in pre-service institutions and professional organizations.

DESIGN & DELIVER TRAINING

Our current work includes the design of a new training package for community health workers and their supervisors that is aligned with the country’s revised strategy for community health. We are also exploring approaches to digitize the new training package as the program rolls out in the coming months.