Sierra Leone

MEASURE Evaluation contributed toward rebuilding a stronger, better, and more resilient health information system in Sierra Leone.

The Republic of Sierra Leone, with an estimated population of 6.1 million people and 20 distinct language groups,[1] struggles to improve the health status of its people. Life expectancy is 45 years, the infant mortality rate (IMR) is 156/1000,[2] and Sierra Leone ranks 177 out of 187 countries in the latest World Bank Human Development Index. [3] The country is still recovering from the effects of a brutal civil war that ended in 2002, and the health sector is now further challenged by the devastating effects of the Ebola crisis. Pre-existing gaps and inadequacies in the health information system (HIS), including poor infrastructure, outdated technology, and a lack of trained staff, have worsened under the strains imposed by the Ebola outbreak which left nearly 4,000 people dead.

While the effects of Ebola were devastating, the global attention focused on Sierra Leone in the wake of the crisis generated resources and support for efforts to build a more robust and resilient health system. The Ministry of Health and Sanitation (MOHS) recognized an urgent need to upgrade and strengthen the nation’s HIS.

MEASURE Evaluation embedded two HIS experts in the MOHS for four months to contribute toward rebuilding a stronger, better, and more resilient HIS. This involved the following:

  • a detailed assessment of the existing HMIS capacity at the MOHS as a basis for action planning
  • establishment of and support to national governance structures
  • identification of institutional capacity needs and implementation of an associated capacity development plan within the HMIS unit of the HMIS
  • provision of practical training, coaching and mentoring in leadership development, with a focus on building robust capacity for data management and use in the HMIS unit of the MOHS

[1] Measure-DHS-and-Statistics-Sierra-Leone (2013). Sierra Leone Demographic and Health Survey.

World-Bank (2015).

[2] World Development Indicators, World Bank. Accessed February 6, 2015

[3] UNDP (2014). Human Development Report. New York, UNDP

Filed under: HIS , Sierra Leone , Health information systems , Ebola
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