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National HIV/AIDS Policy Print E-mail

GOVERNMENT OF SIERRA LEONE

NATIONAL HIV/AIDS POLICY

JANUARY 2002
NATIONAL HIV/AIDS POLICY FOR SIERRA LEONE JANUARY 2002

1. ACRONYMS

CBOs - Community Based Organisations
CAC/DAC/RAC - Chiefdom AIDS Committee/District AIDS Committee/Regional AIDS
Committee
HIV/AIDS - Human Immuno-Deficiency Virus/ Acquired Immuno- Deficiency Syndrome,
IEC/BCC - Information Education Communication/ Behaviour Change Communication
NAC - National HIV/AIDS Council
NACP - National AIDS Control Programme
NAS - National HIV/AIDS Secretariat
NGO - Non Governmental Organisation
PLWHAs - People Living with HIV/AIDS
STIs - Sexually Transmitted Infections

NATIONAL HIV/AIDS POLICY FOR SIERRA LEONE JANUARY 2002

2. INTRODUCTION:

Sierra Leone is emerging from a ten-year civil conflict that has devastated the productive capacity and infrastructure in every part of the country and caused mass displacement of the population. The 1997 military coup and the 1999 rebel invasion of Freetown, which resulted in the destruction of most of the health and other social sector support systems, intensified the problem of service delivery, exacerbated ill health and poverty. The problem has been further exacerbated by the emergence and rapid spread of AIDS (Acquired Immuno-Deficiency Syndrome) caused by HIV (Human Immuno-Deficiency Virus). Currently, HIV prevalence has by all indications passed the 5% threshold and it is fast becoming an epidemic that requires urgent and coordinated action to control it.

The low level of awareness and knowledge about HIV/AIDS, particularly those relating to risky
sexual behaviour and unsafe health practices further compound the problem. The primary mode
of HIV transmission in Sierra Leone is through sexual contact and a small magnitude through
blood transfusion, harmful indigenous practices and unsafe injections. Most of those infected
remain unaware of their status and so represent a pool capable of transmitting the virus to new
uninfected individuals.
Government's initial response to the HIV epidemic was in 1986 when a National AIDS
Committee was established. In response to the call from WHO for member states to establish
HIV prevention and control programmes, the National AIDS Committee was in 1987
transformed into the National HIV/AIDS Control Programme within the Ministry of Health and
Sanitation to address the threat of HIV/AIDS. Since then, many stakeholders have undertaken
several interventions but these were not guided by a national policy. Thus the efforts
undertaken to address the threat of the epidemic of HIV/AIDS in the country were inadequate
and uncoordinated.
The Government is now coming to terms with the fact that even if political stability returns and
an all out development effort is undertaken, the failure to contain this epidemic will have social,
psychological, demographic and economic impact on both individuals and societies. It will
deprive families, communities of their young and productive people.
As part of Government's overall social and development strategy, this policy is formulated to
guide Government and its development partners in combating the spread of HIV/AIDS. This
policy seeks to:

  • ensure that people everywhere in the country, particularly the young, know what to do to avoid infection,
  • reduce the spread and stop perhaps the most tragic of all forms of HIV transmission from mother to child;
  • provide access to affordable treatment to all those infected;
  • care for all whose lives have been in a way or other devastated by AIDS, particularly the orphans; and
  • mobilize necessary resources to battle against AIDS
  • empower young people with HIV/AIDS related information for behaviour change.

NATIONAL HIV/AIDS POLICY FOR SIERRA LEONE JANUARY 2002

1.0 PREAMBLE:

1.1 The Government of Sierra Leone fully recognises the urgency of the threat posed by the
current HIV/AIDS pandemic and undertakes to ensure the development of coherent
policies and the implementation of a coordinated national multisectoral programme to
successfully combat this epidemic.
1.2 The National Policy and National Strategic Plan shall be in accordance with existing
international conventions to which the Government of Sierra Leone is signatory.

2.0 POLICY STATEMENT

2.1 The Government shall address the impact of the epidemic at all levels of society; develop
and implement a multisectoral prevention, care and control programme with open access
to basic social services; and will adapt economic and social development policies and
programmes to address the impact of HIV/AIDS.
2.2 The Government shall espouse policies that address gender relations: support shall be
given to empowering women to recognise their vulnerability to HIV/AIDS/STI within the
framework of universal human rights advocacy.

3.0 GENERAL PRINCIPLES

3.1 Multisectoral Approach and Partnerships
3.1.1 The Government shall establish a National AIDS Council (NAC); HIV/AIDS Secretariat
(NAS); strengthen the Ministry of Health and Sanitation and its National HIV/AIDS
Control Programme (NACP) and institute Chiefdom AIDS Committee, District AIDS
Committee and Regional AIDS Committee (CAC/DAC/RAC), in each chiefdom, district
or region as the country situation warrants, to mobilize, coordinate and utilize all sectors
of private and public activities to promote behaviour change for the prevention and
control of HIV/AIDS/STI.
3.1.2 The composition of the institutions and committees, NAC, NAS, NACP, RAC/DAC, will
include representatives of NGO/CBOs, civil societies, women, youth, religious groups,
traditional leaders and healers, line ministries, private sectors, people living with
HIV/AIDS, relevant national and international organisations.
3.1.3 These institutions shall foster cooperation, coordination and collaboration within all
sectors of society, national and international organisations to integrate HIV/AIDS/STI
prevention, care, and support into the mainstream of the national development process.
Their programs shall have clear time-bound goals and measurable objectives.

NATIONAL HIV/AIDS POLICY FOR SIERRA LEONE JANUARY 2002

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3.1.4 Within the framework of the national policy, these institutions shall develop and
implement effective strategies, and comprehensive programs that define and focus on
those factors, including social, behavioral and traditional practices, which make
individuals, families and communities particularly vulnerable to HIV/AIDS/STI.
3.1.5 The Government shall ensure through the Ministry of Finance that budgetary provisions
are made for line ministries and uniformed services for the effective implementation of
their HIV/AIDS/STIs programmes.
3.1.6 The Government shall call upon all UN agencies, regional and international organisations
and national and international NGOs working in country to incorporate HIV/AIDS/STI
prevention, care and awareness components into their country plans and programs along
with HIV/AIDS/STI awareness, care and training, with a behavior change component for
their own staff.
3.1.7 The Government shall integrate HIV/AIDS/STI components into development
programmes where applicable.
3.1.8 The Government shall actively engage and support NGOs/CBOs and the private sector
3.2 Respect for Human Rights
3.2.1 The Government shall ensure that all line ministries, uniformed services, national and
international agencies, public and private authorities, state and private institutions,
corporations, professional organisations and fraternal associations respect essential
human rights especially for those People Living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA) and their
dependants and assist in the de-stigmatisation of all affected persons. Government shall
also ensure that PLWHAs have access to available care and services.
3.2.2 The Government shall further ensure that all programmes are developed and effectively
implemented for the prevention and protection from HIV/AIDS/STI of vulnerable
groups, with special focus on youth, women, orphans, street children, commercial sex
workers, health workers, transient workers, migrants, refugees/returnees and internally
displaced people.
3.2.3 The Government shall take action to prevent unlawful search, seizure, detention and
dismissal from work of people living with HIV/AIDS and shall consider as a criminal
offence any willful infection of another with HIV.
3.2.4 The Government shall ensure that no persons shall be denied essential services due to
their HIV/AIDS status
NATIONAL HIV/AIDS POLICY FOR SIERRA LEONE JANUARY 2002
5
3.3 Transparency and Accountability
3.3.1 The Government and its development partners shall ensure international standards of
transparency and accountability in the allocation and use of both national and
international HIV/AIDS/STI resources.
3.4 Monitoring, Evaluation and Research
3.4.1 All National HIV/AIDS Institutions, NAC, NAS, NACP and RAC/DAC/CAC, shall
employ accepted internationally approved standards of monitoring, evaluation and
research in their programmes.
3.4.2 The Government shall ensure that there be clear ethical and practical guidelines,
including informed consent and assurances of client confidentiality with regards to
testing, counseling and care. The Government shall seek to widely disseminate such
guidelines and monitor their application. The Government shall undertake that all
screening and testing shall be carried out only by accredited institutions.
3.4.3 The Government shall support and encourage national and international investment in
HIV/AIDS research to address all areas of the HIV/AIDS/STI epidemic, with particular
attention to the prevention of mother to child transmission.
3.4.4 The Government shall establish effective surveillance systems for HIV/AIDS and STIs
with committed resources as part of an integrated disease surveillance system.
3.5 Universal Access to Information
3.5.1 Government recognizes that the fight against HIV/AIDS is dependent on the proper
dissemination of the correct information and the right of the people to know. Therefore,
the Government shall encourage and support national, sub-regional, regional,
international IEC/BCC partnerships, coalitions and networks to strengthen local
community initiatives to mitigate the impact of HIV/AIDS/STI.
3.5.2 The Government shall develop and implement in collaboration with partners a national
education curriculum that incorporates HIV/AIDS/STI awareness, behavioral change and
life skills, into all levels of formal and non-formal institutions of education. Government
shall ensure the strengthening of the Family Life Education/ Social Studies Curricula to
incorporate HIV/AIDS/STIs education.
3.6 Advocacy
3.6.1 The Government shall continue and strengthen the advocacy for its national
HIV/AIDS/STI prevention, care and control programme.
NATIONAL HIV/AIDS POLICY FOR SIERRA LEONE JANUARY 2002
6
3.6.2 The Government shall develop and implement a wide range of effective multisectoral
advocacy strategies and activities, including behavioral change, for a successful national
response.
3.6.3 The Government shall encourage and initiate national and international NGOs and civil
society to play an active role in HIV/AIDS/STI initiatives and advocacy.
4.0 STRATEGIC POLICY PRINCIPLES
4.1 The Government overall strategic policy principles shall be:
4.1.1 Policy development, advocacy, capacity building, gender equality, poverty reduction,
transparency and accountability, effective monitoring and evaluation and civil society
partnerships.
.
4.1.2 Multisectoral response to HIV/AIDS/STI awareness, prevention and care with
behavioural change components to include all line ministries.
4.1.3 Health sector responses to HIV/AIDS/STI management, effective surveillance, research,
prevention, care and support, including relevant hazardous waste disposal and
environmental health protection and the provision of safe blood supply system.
4.1.4 Resource mobilization to combat the spread of STIs/HIV/AIDS.

 

Newsflash

Re-advitised TOR and request for expression of interest for viral load monitoring and EID August 2016



Request for Expression of Interest (EOI) for Technical Assistance for implementation of Viral Load Testing, Monitoring and Early Infant Diagnosis.


RE-Advertised 8th August, 2016.


The Country Coordinating Mechanism (CCM) of Sierra Leone has received a Grant from the Global Fund towards the cost of the HIV/AIDS Response Program in Sierra Leone and intends to apply part of the proceeds of this grant to payments under the contract for which this Request for Expression of Interest (EOI) is issued.

The National AIDS Secretariat (NAS), acting on behalf of the CCM of Sierra Leone is soliciting

expression of Interests (EOI) from qualified and eligible Non Governmental Organizations (NGOs) and Consulting Firms to provide  technical assistance assignments for the National HIV AIDS Secretariat (NAS) in  implementation of Viral Load Testing and monitoring and Early Infant Diagnostic (EID).

Introduction

The National AIDS Secretariat (NAS), acting on behalf of the CCM of Sierra Leone is soliciting expression of Interests (EOI) from qualified and eligible Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) and Consulting Firms to provide the following technical assistance assignments for the National HIV AIDS Secretariat (NAS).


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