According a to an IOM survey conducted in 2013-2014, Sierra Leone currently has over 62, 000 Sierra Leone health professionals living in the UK, Canada, USA and Germany alone. The survey also proved that an astounding number of these professionals were willing to contribute to achieving development goals in Sierra Leone’s health sector.
Sierra Leone is in dire need of health professionals. Without counting their mass migration in pursuit of better opportunities abroad, 250 health workers’ lives were claimed by the recent Ebola outbreak. The Human Resources Health Profile (2016) found that Sierra Leone had four medical doctors per 10, 000 inhabitants and 48% of the workforce is unpaid.
In this light, IOM and the Office of Diaspora Affairs (ODA Sierra Leone) are working together with the Ministry of Health and Sanitation (MOHS) to implement generous funding from a Japanese Government initiative called “Strengthening Sierra Leonean National Health Care Capacity through Diaspora Engagement”.
Koinadugu is one of the biggest and most vulnerable communes in Sierra Leone and only has two medical doctors, for this reason the Japanese Government is targeting this district for the pilot project.
IOM believes that diaspora experts which have maintained linguistic and cultural links to their place of origin are excellent agents for change, capacity building and achieving development goals. This is mainly achieved on short-term assignments where the transfer of skills and knowledge take place.
CD4D is thus one of many similar projects promoted, coordinated and facilitated by IOM. In this case “Strengthening Sierra Leonean National Health Care Capacity through Diaspora Engagement” specifically aims to boost Sierra Leone’s healthcare sector.
- Awoko Sierra Leone News: “IOM seeking diaspora medics to help Sierra Leone hospitals”
- Sierra Express Media: “Japanese Government Boosts Sierra Leone Health Sector”