In Sierra Leone, the challenge of disparate and uncoordinated Health Facility Lists, lacking GPS coordinates, hindered effective healthcare management. Various organizations, including the Ministry of Health and Sanitation (MoHS), operated with separate lists, complicating resource allocation and decision-making.
Dev-Afrique’s client GRID3, supported by the Gates Foundation, addressed this challenge by collaborating closely with MoHS’s Directorate of Policy Planning and Information (DPPI). The initiative which, commenced in 2020, aimed to consolidate and harmonize these Health Facility Lists into a unified Health Facility Master List (HFML). The HFML, completed in 2023, became a foundational dataset supporting informed decision making, resource allocation, and policy development.
The 2023 HFML serves as a pivotal tool for healthcare management in Sierra Leone. It provides crucial information on health service availability, accessibility, and quality. Furthermore, it facilitates tracking changes in the health system over time, aiding decision-makers in making informed choices. This successful initiative, funded by the Gates Foundation, exemplifies how harmonizing geospatial data can significantly enhance healthcare outcomes in the country.
Dealing with map inaccuracies
In Sierra Leone, challenges were encountered when trying to identify communities and plan immunization campaigns due to a lack of accurate maps. The Child Health and Expanded Programme on Immunization (EPI) Office needed effective tools to allocate resources and plan vaccination campaigns efficiently
GRID3, in collaboration with CHAI and funded by the Gates Foundation, addressed this issue by leveraging geospatial technologies. The GRID3 Technical team worked closely with the CH&EPI Unit technical staff to develop 223 multi-purpose geospatial Microplanning maps. These maps became essential tools for planning various immunization interventions, including Routine Immunization (RI), Human Papillomavirus (HPV), and COVID-19 vaccination campaigns. The multi-purpose microplanning maps proved crucial during the introduction of HPV vaccines in October 2022. They played a pivotal role in identifying settlements in specific catchment areas thereby, ensuring realistic workloads for vaccinators. This successful initiative showcases the impact of geospatial technology in optimizing immunization planning and resource allocation for better health outcomes in Sierra Leone.