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SDI Report Ranks Education 67.4%, Health 51%

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SDI Report Ranks Education 67.4%, Health 51%

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There is more progress in education (67.4%) than health (51%) in Sierra Leone.

This is according to the just released 2020 Service Delivery Index (SDI) for Sierra Leone titled: Broadening Access and Quality: Citizens Feedback on the state of Health and Education services in Sierra Leone.

The result is reflective of the policy and budget attention the Free Quality Education (FQE) has received as the flagship programme for the Government of Sierra Leone.

The SDI 2020 benchmarks the state of health and education services in all parliamentary constituencies and local government units in the country.

It builds on the inaugural SDI 2015, which was funded by the Open Society Initiative for West Africa (OSIWA). The SDI 2020 also marks the start of an ambitious project with a goal for ordinary Sierra Leoneans to see, understand and support the government’s delivery of health and education services, especially within a COVID-19 health emergency context.

The highest-ranking districts for improved access to health and education are Western Urban – Freetown (68.0%), Bo (62.8%) and the Western Rural (62.8%).

Access to personnel (qualified teachers and health workers) is the greatest challenge facing both health and education service delivery.

On average, progress made in deployment of qualified teachers is 45% while only 22.1% of healthcare staffing needs stated in the Basic Package for Essential Health Services have been met.

This is exacerbated by an acute urban bias in the deployment of nurses and teachers, thus making services elusive for many remote areas.

The most challenging districts for accessing health and education are Falaba (55.8%), Koinadugu (55.7%) and the ore-mining Tonkolili district (55.5%).

Even though there are no widely noted gender disparities in accessing services as reflected in the increased enrolment of girls in schools and women’s access to free health care, the Report notes women’s overall weak participation in community health and education oversight structures.

Compared to their male (71.94%) counterparts, women were less likely to report awareness of the existence of SMCs (61.4%) or say that SMCs shared information with parents on the performance of schools (63% men compared to 54% women).

This limits their ability to shape the quality of services they receive. Sixteen of the 20 top ranking MP Constituencies are based in Freetown.

This further shows the skewed nature in the service-delivery formula and further reinforces the urban-rural disparity in service provision.

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