Sierra Leone Country Profile

Sierra Leone country

Sierra Leone Country Profile

Discover more about CDC’s work in Sierra Leone by viewing our detailed country profile

Country Overview

CDC began supporting Sierra Leone’s HIV response in 2008. In 2015, after CDC’s support of the nation’s Ebola epidemic response, a permanent country office was established in partnership with the Government of Sierra Leone through the Ministry of Health and Sanitation. CDC focuses on implementing effective prevention programs by improving HIV testing and preventing mother-to-child transmission; strengthening surveillance and program monitoring and evaluation; improving care and treatment services including HIV and tuberculosis (TB) diagnosis and antiretroviral treatment; enhancing point-of-care laboratory testing for drug-resistant TB and HIV/TB co-infection; and building high-quality laboratory systems to support HIV and TB testing.

Per Capita GNI



Population (million)



Under 5 Mortality

107.8/1,000 Live Births


Life Expectancy

55.1 Years


Estimated HIV Prevalence


(Ages 15-49): (2021)

Estimated AIDS Deaths


(Age≥15) (2021)

TB Treatment Success Rate



Estimated TB Incidence



Estimated Orphans Due to AIDS



TB patients with known HIV-status who are HIV-positive



Reported Number Receiving Antiretroviral Therapy (ART)


(Age≥15) (2021)

Strategic Focus

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) began working in Sierra Leone in 2008 through the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR).  In 2015, after helping the nation respond to Ebola, a permanent country office was established to support the Government of Sierra Leone through the Ministry of Health and Sanitation (MoHS).  CDC’s HIV and Tuberculosis (TB) focus is:

  • Providing technical assistance and enhancing partner coordination at the national and district level
  • Implementing effective prevention programs by improving HIV testing and preventing mother-to-child transmission
  • Strengthening surveillance and program monitoring and evaluation
  • Improving care and treatment services including HIV/TB diagnosis and antiretroviral (ART) treatment
  • Enhancing point of care laboratory testing for Multi Drug Resistant (MDR)/Extensively Drug Resistant (XDR) TB and HIV/TB co-infection
  • Building high quality laboratory systems to support HIV and TB testing

Key Activities and Accomplishments


  • CDC continues to be a strong and active participant throughout Sierra Leone, including the National AIDS Control Program (NACP)

Laboratory Systems

  • CDC and PEPFAR partners continue to strengthen the national HIV program by providing technical assistance to develop and validate the Elimination of Mother to Child Transmission (eMTCT) Strategic Plan and eMTCT and Pediatric HIV treatment in the country
  • CDC in collaboration with Global Fund & African Society for Laboratory Medicine (ASLM) continue to strengthen the capacity of viral load and Early Infant Diagnosis (EID) testing by supporting national expansion of viral load from one to 28 facilities and EID to 21 facilities
  • CDC has strengthened the TB testing program through development and review of an integrated specimen Management Policy and Guideline
  • CDC has provided support to develop system tools and institute Quality Management Systems (QMS), which has raised the WHO-AFRO Strengthening Laboratory Management Toward Accreditation (SLMTA) score from 0 to 3 stars in the National Tuberculosis Reference Laboratory and continues with the aim of attaining accreditation.
  • CDC provides technical assistance to test TB samples by solid culture and Drug Susceptibility Testing (DST) for first and second line drugs through Line Probe Assays

Data for Decision Making

  • CDC is supporting capacity building of MoHS to use data for decision-making to guide HIV and TB programs

Quality Improvement

  • Improve coverage of inpatient HIV testing and use of isoniazid preventive therapy (IPT) to prevent TB amongst people living with HIV by supporting MoHS to design and implement two Quality Improvement Collaborative (QICs) involving 24 healthcare facilities

Technical Assistance

  • Supported MoHS to update NACP monitoring and evaluation (M&E) registers to be more robust and responsive to demand at the health facility and program levels and enable NACP to track HIV positive patients screened for TB along the continuum of care for the first time
  • Trained 5 public health workers in Frontline and Intermediate Field Epidemiology Training Program on HIV and TB surveillance
  •  Provided training to improve HIV services through quality improvement

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The latest PHIA analyses show that CDC, through PEPFAR, and partners are playing and essential role in helping to save lives & transform some of the world’s most severe HIV epidemics

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CDC’s innovative efforts to Find, Cure, and Prevent TB are creating a safer America and a safer world.

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CDC study provides new evidence that Drug-Resistant Tuberculosis is set to rise in some of the world’s highest burden countries and suggests that it will increasingly be transmitted from Person to Person

Page last reviewed: September 30, 2021, 12:00 AM