Empowering Communities for Health Service Delivery in Sierra Leone
Ministry of Health and Sanitation has successfully implemented the Community Led Action (CLA) approach, with funding from USAID through UNICEF, to transform health service delivery by empowering communities. CLA has resulted in significant improvements in healthcare access and quality, as demonstrated by the successful COVID-19 vaccination campaign, where community involvement contributed to Sierra Leone has achieved an impressive 93.06% fully vaccination coverage of the targeted population (12 years and above) as of today, 12/07/2023.
CLA begins by engaging community members in decision-making processes related to health services. Collaboration between local leaders and community health workers enables the identification of needs, design of interventions, and implementation of sustainable solutions.
The key benefits of CLA include enhanced community ownership, leading to increased utilization of services, improved health-seeking behaviors, and better overall health outcomes.
Communities are equipped with knowledge and skills through targeted training programs focusing on disease prevention, sanitation, maternal and child health, and nutrition. This empowers communities to effectively address their health challenges and promote healthier lifestyles.
CLA also recognizes and integrates traditional and local resources, such as traditional healers and birth attendants, into the healthcare system. This culturally sensitive approach ensures that healthcare services are accessible, acceptable, and appropriate for all community members.
Through CLA, community members in Sierra Leone has become active agents of change, advocating for their health needs and holding service providers accountable. Ongoing dialogue, regular meetings, feedback mechanisms, and monitoring systems facilitate transparency and ensure that services meet community expectations.
Sierra Leone’s experience with CLA highlights the transformative power of community empowerment and collaboration in improving healthcare outcomes and fostering sustainable change. Special recognition is given to GOAL Sierra Leone for their invaluable support in achieving these milestones.