HIV prevalence in Sierra Leone has increased from 0.9% in 2002 to 1.7% in 2019. It is higher among women than men (2.2% versus 1.1%) and significantly higher among key populations such as men who have sex with men, transgender people, sex workers, drug users and prisoners. Only less than a third (29%) of the 80,000 people living with HIV/AIDS in the country were on antiretroviral treatment in 2020 (UNAIDS Sierra Leone), a far cry from the 95% target set by the international community by 2025. The elimination of mother-to-child transmission of HIV also remains a challenge for the country. In response to these challenges, Sierra Leone is committed to improving the HIV response to accelerate the achievement of global HIV targets and has already updated and developed various strategic and operational tools to guide the response, such as the National HIV Strategic Plan 2021-2025. While until now the HIV response has been seen as a vertical programme, it has also been recognised that HIV services need to be integrated with other health services to achieve the national goal. Thus, Solthis’ intervention reinforces the implementation of these new strategic orientations through capacity building of health care workers.
- Project duration: 18 months
- Beneficiaries: 35 health facilities in 7 regions (Western Area Urban, Western Area Rural, Porto Loko, Bo, Kenema, Tonkolili, and Bombali)
- Partners: Ministry of Health and Hygiene NACP (National AIDS control Program)
- Source of funding: Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria.
- Country of intervention : Sierra Leone
Since 2011, Solthis has been supporting the HIV response in Sierra Leone to eliminate new HIV infections, improve care for those infected and reduce deaths related to this pandemic. In the same perspective, this intervention complements national capacity building activities for health personnel involved in HIV care and will focus on 2 objectives:
- Strengthen the capacity of health workers, including outreach centres for key populations, to provide quality HIV care.
- Improve the capacity of health workers and health authorities to manage data and report for better decision-making.
Capacity building activities will be prioritised according to the challenges and gaps identified in the health facilities during the participatory audits and evaluations that will kick off this intervention.
- The quality of HIV services is improved: the main activities to achieve this objective will focus on strengthening the operational and organisational capacity of health workers through mentoring, training and direct on-site supervision.
- The data management system and the use of data for better decision making are strengthened: the focus will be on building the capacity of health staff in quality data management, the use of data for decision making, both at the facility level and at the level of the core medical team, again through mentoring, training and direct supervision on site.
- Lessons learned from the implementation of the intervention are disseminated to strengthen national policies and management of HIV at the national level: Solthis will provide relevant technical support to strengthen the national environment as needed. This will be done by sharing findings and lessons learned during the implementation of this intervention and by participating at national and district levels in the reflections of the various working groups and committees in charge of the coordination of the fight against HIV in Sierra Leone.