Sierra Leone

Response to Sexual and Reproductive Health in the Context of Ebola


Country Background

The projected population of Sierra Leone was 6.4 million in 2014, with an annual growth rate of 1.8 per cent (Population and Housing Census – PHC 2004). Since the end of civil war in 2002, the country has made significant progress in peace consolidation, democratic governance, economic recovery and the fight against poverty. However, it continues to be ranked at the bottom of the Human Development Index (183 out of 187 countries in 2013) published by the UNDP. Development efforts have been constrained by the lack of adequate skilled human resources in all sectors particularly health, poor infrastructure, inadequate budgetary resources, weak governance systems, and, most recently, Ebola. At least 70 per cent of the population (mostly in the rural areas) lives in abject poverty and in extremely difficult circumstances, thereby limiting their access to basic social services and economic opportunities. This is further complicated by the limited health expenditure per capita that is currently estimated at US$ 96 per year. With inadequate health care financing strategies, Sierra Leone was ill-equipped to properly handle such health needs.