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SPRING Catalyzed Launch of Sierra Leone Multi-Sectoral Strategy to Prevent and Control Anemia

Photo of a family smiling at the camera.

Since 2015, SPRING supported the Ministry of Health and Sanitation (MoHS) in Sierra Leone to build a multi-sectoral coordination platform to address anemia. Efforts began with a Landscape Analysis of Anemia and Anemia-related Programming, revealing that although anemia is a severe public health problem, iron deficiency, typically a main contributor, is surprisingly low.

These findings helped catalyze efforts of the National Anaemia Working group, formed as a subgroup of the Scaling Up Nutrition (SUN) Technical Working Group and chaired by the Director of Food and Nutrition of the MoHS. The working group aimed to build coordination between sectors including health, education, agriculture, trade, WASH, gender, and other technical areas to address the true causes of anemia in the Sierra Leone context.

To formalize national level actions, the working group developed the Sierra Leone Multi-Sectoral Strategy to Prevent and Control Anemia informed by the landscape analysis report and other key reports and publications, as well as key informant interviews. The working group held several meetings to review and validate the strategy and the resulting document includes six objectives:

  • Improve Prevention and Control of Infections
  • Improve Prevention of Chronic Infections and Specialised Health Conditions
  • Improve Reproductive Health and Delivery Care
  • Improve Micronutrient Intake and Diet Quality
  • Improve Education of Girls and Women
  • Improve Integrated Platforms to Deliver Anaemia Interventions

On January 31st, the strategy was officially launched at the start of the 2018 Annual Nutrition Review Meeting in Freetown, Sierra Leone. The event engaged actors from multiple sectors to facilitate collaboration and stakeholder buy-in for implementation of the strategy.