Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone is located on the west coast of Africa; it is bordered by Guinea to the north and east, the Atlantic to the west, and Liberia to the south. As a nation, Sierra Leone’s health indicators rank among the worst in the world. It suffered a brutal civil war from 1991- 2002 but it has held two successful post-conflict parliamentary and presidential elections. Currently, there is stability, development potential, and growing optimism. However, the high prevalence and incidence of debilitating diseases reduces productivity and economic growth. In such a resource-constrained environment, implementation of integrated disease prevention and control is essential if Sierra Leone is to achieve the Millennium Development Goals to reduce mortality, malnutrition, and poverty.

Administratively, the country is divided into the Western Area (WA) and three provinces: Northern, Southern, and Eastern, which are further divided into 12 health districts (HDs) and the WA into rural (RWA) and urban (UWA) where the capital Freetown is located. Excluding the WA, Sierra Leone had 14,413 villages with populations between 100-500 inhabitants in the population census of 2004. Also used for planning are the 149 chiefdoms throughout the country, which are governed by traditional paramount chiefs.

Helen Keller International (HKI) is the designated subgrantee in Sierra Leone for END in Africa activities. HKI has had a strong presence in Sierra Leone since 2004, and its portfolio of programs covers a diverse range of infectious disease control and nutrition programs that target vulnerable communities, households, and family members.

In the Rough — A Success Story from Sierra Leone

People in Sierra Leone are getting their lives back, thanks to medicines provided through END in Africa that treat neglected tropical diseases (NTDs). Check out the amazing work that our partners at Helen Keller International and USAID are doing to control one of the seven most common NTDs — schistosomiasis — in a diamond-mining province known as Kono District.

Filming by Mo Scarpelli on behalf of the Global Network for Neglected Tropical Diseases’ END7 campaign.

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