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. Neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) affect all 14 health districts (HDs) in Sierra Leone, putting an estimated 5.7 million people at risk of contracting one or more diseases. NTDs are debilitating and disproportionately affect the poor and vulnerable, particularly women and children.
While limited awareness of NTDs, unsafe health practices, and limited access to safe water and sanitation present challenges, Sierra Leone’s NTD Program (NTDP) has continued its efforts toward disease control and elimination. Nevertheless, lymphatic filariasis (LF), schistosomiasis (SCH), onchocerciasis (Oncho) and soil-transmitted helminthes (STH) continue to be threats in Sierra Leone and require continued attention and support from USAID’s END in Africa project and other partners.
FHI 360’s designated subgrantee in Sierra Leone for the END in Africa project Helen Keller International (HKI).
Achievements in Sierra Leone
- Completed mapping for all 7 NTDs targeted by the END in Africa project (2008) and scaled up mass drug administration (MDA) for 6 endemic diseases (the country is not endemic for trachoma) to the national level (2010).
- Eight (8) health districts passed transmission assessment surveys (TAS) for lymphatic filariasis (LF) and can stop MDA for LF.
- Onchocerciasis prevalence has decreased significantly over the past 10 years, according to a recent impact assessment of children 5–9 years of age in 12 health districts. However, MDA for onchocerciasis is still necessary due to ongoing transmission of onchocerca volvulus.
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 END in Africa subgrantee Helen Keller International is 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.
Documents and Resources
- Sierra Leone Country Profile (2016) (pdf 4.1 Mb)
- Sierra Leone Country Profile (2015) (pdf 5.2 Mb)
- Sierra Leone Country Profile (2014) (pdf 1.17 Mb)
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