People's Healthcare Manifesto

Across Sierra Leone, communities are crying out for healthcare that is safe, accessible and inclusive. They want to see a clear road to recovery for themselves and for the country as a whole. We worked with these communities, from Kabala to Kono, to create the People’s Healthcare Manifesto. Together we call on individuals and organisations alike to:

Together we call on individuals and organisations alike to:

1.

Acknowledge the positive impact of informal healthcare actors.

Community elders, traditional birth attendants (TBAs), influential women and religious leaders have the skills and desire to strengthen the health system but are currently underutilised.

2.

Listen to and work with patient advocacy groups and representative bodies of healthcare workers.

Incorporating a wide variety of views will improve standards and accountability across the healthcare sector in a way that is sensitive to local context.

3.

Highlight the ongoing need to increase the number of salaried healthcare workers.

Recruiting more doctors, nurses, midwives and community health officers (CHOs) reduces the reliance on volunteers, makes workers less susceptible to bribery and supports ongoing efforts to improve patient care.

4.

Advocate for better support of doctors and nurses.

Looking after the wellbeing of healthcare workers, particularly those working in the provinces, will help retain the country’s top medical talent and ensure that patients get the best possible care, wherever they live.

5.

Support the development of community health workers (CHWs).

Better integrating this important resource into the workforce will ensure that they are able to represent and support hard-to-reach populations in rural areas of Sierra Leone.

6.

Recognise the particular challenges in seeking healthcare faced by women, ethnic minority groups and people with disabilities.

Understanding their experience and equipping them with a better understanding of their rights to care, respect and information will create a better healthcare system for everyone.

7.

Encourage the government to further decentralise key aspects of the health system.

Devolving drug distribution, workforce management, monitoring and evaluation (M&E) and communications to facility-level will allow hospitals and primary care units (PCUs) to better monitor staff, provide quality services and respond faster to patient demand.