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Understanding the process of strengthening multi-sectoral efforts for anemia reduction: Qualitative findings from Sierra Leone and Uganda

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Anemia is a significant global health problem, and progress to reduce it has been slow. A multi-sectoral, context-specific, and country-led approach is recommended to effectively address anemia, but there is limited documentation of how this has worked in practice. The article presents key findings and lessons learned from Sierra Leone and Uganda's experiences establishing national-level anemia coordination platforms.

 Setting the agenda was an important first step, accomplished by using country-specific anemia-related data and obtaining multi-sectoral commitment. Establishment of a cohesive coordination structure provided an effective platform to prioritize and align anemia activities. Strong, committed leadership and representation of diverse stakeholders was essential to maintain the legitimacy of anemia efforts. The main barriers to the policy-making process included misalignment of sectoral mandates, differences in work cultures, as well as competing priorities and increased staff workload. 

Authors: Danya Sakar, Hillary Murphy, Teemar Fisseha, Aminata Koroma, Mary Hodges, Nancy Adero, Sarah Ngalombi, Jane Nabakooza, Jolene Wun, Sorrel Namaste, 2018  

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