Optimizing Geospatial Data Processes on the Continent and Building  Sustainable Partnerships in Sierra Leone 

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.

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