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CPI March, 2024 = 41.65% Y/Y | GDP Growth 2022 = 3.5% | Population (2021 Mid-Term Census) = 7,548,702 (Male = 3,727,747 (49%) Female = 3,820,955 (50.6%) | PPI 2022 - Q2 =20.33% Y/Y | PHC Projection 2022 (Medium Variant) = 8,494,260 | Population (National - 2015 Census) = 7,092,113

The African Population and Health Research Centre (APHRC), represented by its Head of Advocacy, Policy Engagement and Comminications, Grace Kibunja and Senior Research Officer, Kenneth Juma, have paid a courtesy call on the Statistician-General of Stats SL, Andrew Bob Johnny and his leadership team. The purpose of the courtesy call amongst other things was to renew the existing Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) and to strengthen the bilateral working relationship between APHRC and Stats SL.  APHRC is a non-profit Pan-African research institution headquartered in Nairobi, Kenya, which focuses on conducting high quality policy-relevant research on population, health, education, and urbanisation in sub-Saharan Africa.

In his statement, the Statistician General, Andrew Bob Johnny, emphasised the importance of the collaboration, highlighting the shared goals which aligns with the vision of research on mental health as well as the study on the incidences of unsafe abortion study, which Stats SL had conducted with APHRC.

A comprehensive overview of the proposed MOU and work plan was presented.  The Deputy Statistician General, Lansana Kpewolo Kanneh and Directors, each with their specific areas of expertise, chimed in with insightful comments and suggestions.

The conversation delved into the complexity of the planned projects, exploring methodologies, timelines, and potential challenges. 

As the discussion unfolded, it became evident that the collaboration extended beyond mere statistics. It was about fostering a partnership dedicated to the well-being of the nation. The meeting concluded with a consensus to organize a follow-up session, where the team would delve deeper into the work plan, identifying key milestones and crafting a strategy for implementation.

The Statistician-General, his team, and the representatives from the African Population and Health Research Centre left the office with a shared sense of purpose. The Proposed MOU was not just a piece of paper; it was a commitment to generating valuable data that would contribute to the improvement of mental health, safe abortion practices and other health areas in Sierra Leone. Stats SL’s journey with APHRC had started in 2019 , but the collaborative spirit in the room made it appear like it had just begun and it would undoubtedly pave the way for a healthier and more informed future.

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