Study aims to achieve equitable access to healthcare for people with disabilities

Montrose has completed and disseminated findings from a Disability Context Analysis study in Sierra Leone. The study was conducted as part of the Monitoring, Evidence, Learning and Review (MELR) component of the UK Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office’s (FCDO) five-year Saving Lives in Sierra Leone programme.

The purpose of the study was to better understand the context, barriers and enablers concerning access to health services in Sierra Leone for people with disabilities. The study builds upon work previously conducted by Montrose to understand and explore differences in equity of access to free healthcare for people with disabilities, based upon five dimensions of access: availability and accommodation; affordability; acceptability; appropriateness; and approachability.

Heidi Jalloh-Vos, MELR Technical Lead at Montrose, led a dissemination event on Thursday 24 February 2022, presenting the context, methodology and findings of the study.

The intended use of the study’s findings is to strengthen inclusion across Sierra Leone’s health sector by the Government of Sierra Leone (including the Ministry of Health and Sanitation), FCDO and other development partners.

Dr Abdulai Dumbuya, Senior Programme Officer at Clinton Health Access Initiative (CHAI), also shared a presentation on the medical disability registration, assessment and certification system developed in collaboration with the Directorate of Non-Communicable Diseases and Mental Health at the Ministry of Health and Sanitation.

Speaking at the event, Kobi Bentley, Development Director at FCDO, said: “Back in 2018 the UK hosted the first global summit on disability. I’m proud that the UK continues to play a global leadership role on this important agenda. I’d like to thank Montrose and CHAI for convening us today and for sharing their findings and work on inclusive health and a systems approach to the identification, screening and certification of people with disabilities.

“It will be important that we continue to work together and I’d like to challenge us to do so even more effectively and to better connect the individual activities we are working on to allow these to add up to more than the sum of their parts and make a meaningful difference to disability inclusion, bringing the voices and perspectives of people with disabilities – be they physical, psychosocial or intellectual – into planning, policy and implementation.”

The online event was attended by partners from UNFPA, UNICEF, WHO, IRC, Ministry of Health and Sanitation, Ministry of Social Welfare, National Commission for Persons with Disabilities, Helen Keller International, GOAL, Concern Worldwide, Sightsavers, Médicos del Mundo España (Doctors of the World Spain), and Breakthrough Action, among others.

Click here to visit the project profile. Visit the website of Saving Lives in Sierra Leone here. Read the full report or the analysis brief by clicking the thumbnails below.

Disability Context Analysis Full Report
Disability Context Analysis Brief