Strengthening Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene Workforce in Sierra Leone

Strengthening WASH in Sierra Leone

NCEZID environmental microbiologist Gouthami Rao (front row, right) shows water engineers from across Sierra Leone how to collect a water sample from a pump in Freetown.

Only 2% of the population in Sierra Leone has access to clean, readily available drinking water, and most households lack basic sanitation. Public health officials and partners in Sierra Leone asked CDC to help strengthen the country’s water, sanitation, and hygiene workforce to combat diseases and better prepare for future disasters or outbreaks. In 2018, CDC trained 50 public health staff to detect and respond to waterborne diseases like cholera and typhoid. These trained staff are now training 500 community health officers who work on the front lines of disease outbreaks.