Sierra Leone is pursuing financial sustainability for its immunization services through legislation and expenditure tracking. The Sabin Sustainable Immunization Financing (SIF) Program began its efforts in Sierra Leone in October 2008.
Immunization Program Structure
Sierra Leone’s Expanded Program on Immunization (EPI) is located in the Medical Services Directorate, Primary Health Care Division, Ministry of Health and Sanitation (MOHS).
Sierra Leone’s Progress to Date
Over the period 2006-2014, Sierra Leone’s Gross National Income rose from US$330 to $720 per capita, more than doubling. According to the WHO/UNICEF Joint Reporting Form (JRF), the Sierra Leonean government spent less than $1 on routine immunization per surviving infant in 2007. By 2014, this figure had risen to $7. In addition, the government share of total routine immunization expenditures rose from 0% to 22% over the period. Since 2010, Sierra Leone has reported inconsistently on JRF financial indicators. The data suggest that Sierra Leone has progressed towards country ownership of its immunization program. Among SIF countries, Sierra Leone ranked fourteenth in terms of routine immunization spending per surviving infant in 2014.
In 2012, the EPI team finalized a subnational expenditure tracking tool.
In July 2015, the Parliamentary Health Committee Chairman visited Bombali district to assess immunization resource mobilization and execution.
Chapter II, Section 8 (Social objectives), Provision 3 of the 1991 Sierra Leonean Constitution states that the government will ensure that all citizens have easy access to adequate medical and health facilities.
A parliamentary team is drafting a cabinet paper pleading for the development of a private member’s immunization bill. In addition the team is formulating immunization-related clauses to be included in review of the Public Health Act (1965).
In January 2014, a Multi-Institutional Network on Immunization was established. Members include representatives from MOHS, MOFED, and parliament.
- October 2015: Sierra Leonean counterparts join Kenyan, Ugandan, Nigerian, and Liberian peers in Sabin-sponsored peer review workshop
- August 2015: Sierra Leonean counterparts join Nigerian and Liberian peers in Sabin-sponsored peer exchange workshop
- May 2015: Sierra Leonean counterparts join Liberian peers in Sabin-sponsored peer exchange workshop
- November 2013: Sierra Leonean counterparts join Liberian delegates in Sabin-sponsored peer exchange workshop
- August 2013: Sierra Leonean counterparts attend Sabin-sponsored colloquium
- June 2012: Senior Program Officer organizes parliamentary briefing
- November 2011: Sierra Leonean officials visit Makeni and Bo municipalities under Sabin sponsorship
- March 2011: Sierra Leonean counterparts attend Sabin-sponsored colloquium
- August 2010: MOFED official surveys Ugandan budgetary strategies in Sabin-sponsored study tour March 2010: Sierra Leonean counterparts join Liberian delegates in Sabin-sponsored peer exchange workshop
- December 2009: Liberian EPI Manager visits Sierra Leonean counterparts in Sabin-sponsored study tour
- November 2009: Senior Program Officer organizes national briefing
- October 2009: Senior Program Officer organizes parliamentary briefing
- August 2009: Senior Program Officer organizes parliamentary briefing
- October 2008: Senior Program Officer and Program Director introduce SIF program to Sierra Leonean government