Ensuring free drugs are available in primary healthcare facilities is critical to encouraging health seeking behaviour. The Free Health Care Initiative (FHCI) in Sierra Leone promises free health services (preventative and curative) to all children under 5, pregnant and lactating women and Ebola survivors. DFID has supported the FHCI in Sierra Leone since its inception in 2010 through support to the procurement and distribution of supplies for the FHCI.
DFID is therefore contracting International Procurement Agency (IPA), as its contracted Procurement Agent (PA) in Sierra Leone, to assist the Ministry of Health to bridge the gap in essential commodities and to aid in delivering this service. This has been due to the evident failures of previously supported National Pharmaceutical Procurement Unit (NPPU), which was managed by original implementer. This implementing partner also failed to provide adequate auditable documentation, and due to these facts DFID has now sourced a pre-established and proven private contractor to provide this service.