In Sierra Leone, FHI 360 focuses on improving health and education. Neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) affect each of Sierra Leone’s 14 health districts, with an estimated 5.7 million people at risk of contracting one or more diseases. FHI 360 is advancing the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) goal of reducing NTDs globally by addressing the country’s prevalence of onchocerciasis, schistosomiasis, lymphatic filariasis and soil-transmitted helminths. FHI 360 is supporting the ministries of health and other government entities to scale up their local integrated NTD control activities and document control and elimination.
FHI 360 is also working with the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology to assess the state of the country’s education management information system (EMIS) in an effort to increase access to timely, reliable data. The EMIS project, funded by the United Nations Children’s Fund, is particularly needed as the Ebola outbreak has further strained Sierra Leone’s education system. FHI 360’s work is helping to increase the ministry’s ability to make informed, data-driven responses both to crisis situations and to long-term planning and budgeting.
To measure the impact of the Ebola outbreak, FHI 360 assisted GeoPoll in conducting a mobile phone survey in Sierra Leone, as well as Liberia, to collect remote data on the countries’ income and employment markets, in addition to food prices and transportation costs. This data has enabled USAID to conduct an ongoing assessment of the economic recovery process, including areas restricted by the quarantine.