Sierra Leone

CHAMPS in Sierra Leone

About our Work

In Sierra Leone, CHAMPS conducts mortality surveillance in two districts: Bombali District in the northern province and Bo District in the southern province. In Bombali district, our catchment area includes Bombali Siari and Bombali Sebora chiefdoms, including parts of Makeni city. In Bo district, our catchment population includes Kakua and Tikonko chiefdoms, including parts of Bo city. The primary catchment area in Bombali district was one of the hardest-hit districts during the Ebola outbreak in 2014.

The Sierra Leone site activities are implemented by a consortium of health-oriented organizations under the supervision of Sierra Leone’s Ministry of Health (MoH), including Crown Agents (providing budget oversight management, technical coordination of implementing partners, specimen collection, laboratory diagnostic support, DeCoDe and Data and Informatics), World Hope International (WHI) (which leads the surveillance activities including mortality surveillance, pregnancy surveillance, and health demographics surveillance), and FOCUS1000 (which leads the community engagement and qualitative research elements of our work).

We utilize existing community and MOH district surveillance structures to identify and report stillbirths and under-five deaths, and the Makeni Regional Hospital Laboratory for clinical, microbiological, and molecular testing. Histopathological testing is conducted at the Connaught Hospital Histopathology Laboratory in Freetown, the capital city.

A regional laboratory was built at the Makeni Regional Hospital in 2019 (officially commissioned in July 2022) to meet the demand for modern clinical services and diagnostics. This ultra-modern laboratory facility is shared between the CHAMPS research project and MOH clinical diagnostics, including post-Ebola health system strengthening. Funding for the laboratory was made possible through a public-private partnership between CDC Sierra Leone/the CDC Foundation (for the building infrastructure) and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (for the equipment, furnishings, and running costs).

Get updates about our Sierra Leone site!
Get updates about our Sierra Leone site!
Testimonial Title
inverted comma

CHAMPS is an important initiative not only to strengthen Sierra Leone’s laboratory infrastructure, but also to improve strategic information so we can direct our actions and resources most effectively to help save more young lives.

Ima-Abasi Bassey

FMCPath, lead pathologist for ICAP in Sierra Leone

Fast Facts


Catchment Area


Population Under Surveillance


Under-5 Mortality Rate


Infant Mortality Rate


Neonatal Mortality Rate


Maternal Mortality Rate

Meet the Directors

Dr. Amara Jambai

Deputy Minister for Health II, Ministry of Health and Sanitation, CHAMPS Sierra Leone, Site Director

Read Bio

Dr. Amara Jambai

Deputy Minister for Health II, Ministry of Health and Sanitation, CHAMPS Sierra Leone

Dr. Amara Jambai currently holds the position of Deputy Chief Medical Officer at the Ministry of Health and Sanitation of Sierra Leone. He is the former Director for Disease Prevention and Control at the same ministry. From 2002 through 2008, Dr. Jambai was the District Medical Officer for the Western area in Sierra Leone. Dr. Jambai’s fields of professional concentration include healthcare delivery in outbreak response, epidemiology, and surveillance of infectious diseases. With regard to infectious diseases, he has conducted research on cholera, yellow fever, and viral hemorrhagic fevers. Dr. Jambai was President of the Sierra Leone Medical and Dental Association from 2009 to 2010 and continues to be a member of the said Association. From 2011 to 2012, Dr. Jambai represented Sierra Leone at WHO’s Regional Committee for Africa.

Dr. Ikechukwu (Ike) Ogbuanu

Site Lead, Crown Agents, CHAMPS Sierra Leone, Site Director

Read Bio

Dr. Ikechukwu (Ike) Ogbuanu

Site Lead, Crown Agents, CHAMPS Sierra Leone

Dr. Ike Ogbuanu is a medical doctor and epidemiologist with more than 20 years of progressive experience in clinical medicine, academic research, global public health, vaccinology, leadership and management. In addition to peer-reviewed publications inHIV/AIDS, vaccine-preventable diseases and genetic epidemiology, he has substantial clinical and programmatic experience in the control of tropical and infectious diseases at the global, national, subnational and health facility levels.

Dr. Ogbuanu joined the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in 2009 as an Epidemic Intelligence Service (EIS)officer with the Global Immunization Division. Over the past 10 years, he has worked for CDC at the Headquarters and as a detailee to the World Health Organization (WHO) in Geneva. During this period, Dr. Ogbuanu has advanced implementation research and policy at the global level through quantitative and qualitative health research, program design and implementation, technical policy development, and international health diplomacy. He has led or participated in multiple global multilateral working groups and sub-teams and has managed successful collaborations and direct technical support in Asia, Africa, Western Pacific, Eastern Mediterranean, Europe and the Americas. Dr. Ogbuanu is adept at managing cross-functional teams and complex relationships with key global development partners, includingUSAID, the Gavi Alliance, the Gates Foundation, US-CDC, vaccine manufacturers, UNICEF, and ministries of health, with a view to reduce preventable childhood mortality and promote equitable use of health interventions. His greatest passion is in applying public health science and strategies to reduce disease morbidity and mortality in low and middle countries (LMICs).

Dr. Ogbuanu is a recipient of multiple awards, including the USC Gerry Sue Arnold Alumni Award (2019); the CDC Excellence in Public Health Service Award, (2014); CDC Award for Excellence in Public Health Protection (2010); USC Doctoral Achievement Award (2009); USC Outstanding Epidemiology Student (2008-2009 session); Michael D. Jarrett Scholarship Award in Recognition of Leadership Potential in Public Health Administration (2005-2006); World Bank Scholar (2004-2006); among others.He completed his medical training at the University of Nigeria in 1998. Following six years of clinical practice in Nigeria, he relocated to the United States to pursue a postgraduate education in Public Health, obtaining his master of public health (MPH) degree in 2006, and his PhD in Epidemiology and Biostatistics in 2009, from the University of South Carolina (USC).