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Research Article |

Infectious Disease Outbreaks in Sierra Leone: Exploration of the Emergency Preparedness and Response in a Decade

Introduction: The African region is constantly contending with more than one hundred public health emergencies annually with infectious disease outbreaks being considerably rampant. The outbreaks of infectious diseases in Sierra Leone in the last decade with the associated impacts on the health system were very palpable. There is scarce knowledge as regards the evolutionary status of Sierra Leone in responding to the outbreak of infectious disease which necessitates the need for this study. Objective: The main objective of this study is to unknot the evolutionary trend of infectious disease outbreak emergency management in Sierra Leone between 2010 and 2020, and find an updated knowledge of the strengths and weaknesses in its health system for informed decision-making. Method: This is a descriptive survey study involving a quantitative and qualitative approach with data collection from the desk review of secondary sources and key informants’ interviews. A semi-structured questionnaire was used to collect primary qualitative data from 77 key informants from multi-sectoral agencies. Data collected were transcribed, coded, and analyzed thematically. Findings were presented in tables, pie and bar charts, and in narrations as appropriate. Results: The outbreaks of Ebola and COVID-19 pandemics ranked the most prominent among the infectious diseases needing emergency response with affirmative feedback from 97.4% and 90.8% of the respondents respectively. Respondents identified nine crucial elements of preparation for infectious disease management. Policy and decision-making, community participation, resource mobilization, and advocacy with the internal community and partners were visibly reported by the respondents to be the roles of the key stakeholders in the emergency preparedness and response to infectious disease outbreaks in the country. Generally, the respondents gave an appreciable positive view about the evolutionary trend of infectious disease management while some reservations hinged on the existing gaps in the public health system were stressed for improvement as necessary. Conclusion: Respondents’ perceptions about the status of Sierra Leone’s health system on the management of infectious disease outbreaks may serve as a pivot for thoughtful deliberation among public health actors to initiate the necessary actions. Findings in this regard can propel holistic decision-making toward building a more resilient emergency health system towards mitigating the enormity of the impacts of disease outbreaks in the country.

Infectious Disease, Emergency Preparedness and Response, Sierra Leone, Health System, Public Health Stakeholders

APA Style

Nannie Conteh, I., Chisaka Kasolo, F., Olaiya Abiodun, P., Obi Daniel, E., Fouard Kanu, A., et al. (2023). Infectious Disease Outbreaks in Sierra Leone: Exploration of the Emergency Preparedness and Response in a Decade. World Journal of Public Health, 8(4), 291-299. https://doi.org/10.11648/j.wjph.20230804.16

ACS Style

Nannie Conteh, I.; Chisaka Kasolo, F.; Olaiya Abiodun, P.; Obi Daniel, E.; Fouard Kanu, A., et al. Infectious Disease Outbreaks in Sierra Leone: Exploration of the Emergency Preparedness and Response in a Decade. World J. Public Health 2023, 8(4), 291-299. doi: 10.11648/j.wjph.20230804.16

AMA Style

Nannie Conteh I, Chisaka Kasolo F, Olaiya Abiodun P, Obi Daniel E, Fouard Kanu A, et al. Infectious Disease Outbreaks in Sierra Leone: Exploration of the Emergency Preparedness and Response in a Decade. World J Public Health. 2023;8(4):291-299. doi: 10.11648/j.wjph.20230804.16

Copyright © 2023 Authors retain the copyright of this article.
This article is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/) which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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