As Covid-19 continues to affect various areas of health, World Vision International (WVI) has embarked on a project to support the Ministry of Health in community health systems strengthening.
Speaking during the launch of Strengthening of Community Health Structures in response to Covid-19 project at Kambola Village, Traditional Authority (T/A) Vuso Jere in Ntchisi on Tuesday, WVI national director Hazel Nyathi said the project aims to promote uptake of essential health services amid the pandemic.
She said WVI is strengthening community structures to help promote the uptake of information and health services.
They have done this by establishing and training village health committees, community health action groups and health centre management committees to address health issues.
Said Nyathi: “These structures will be capacitated to address issues on disease prevention among under-five children and maternal women, HIV prevention among adolescents, adherence to anti-retroviral therapy, and demand creation for sexual and reproductive health services.”
She said the structures will also sensitise communities on Covid-19 prevention, address issues affecting uptake of HIV testing and treatment due to the pandemic, assess and track use of drugs in health centres and assist with communication to and from the health system, among other things.
Nyathi was optimistic that this will then lead to increased community capacity, strengthened community health systems and improved overall community health.
On her part, Ministry of Health head of community health services Doreen Namagetsi-Ali said Ntchisi is one of the areas where the ministry is promoting to have community health structures t in place.
“This area is one of the hardest to reach in Ntchisi, and it is good that WVI has set up community action groups here.
“We had a huge gap in Ntchisi and we needed these committees to be in place to help find solutions,” she said.
The pandemic has disrupted health service delivery by stretching health resources as government redirects health efforts towards Covid-19 response which could affect efforts towards fighting other infectious illnesses such as malaria, tuberculosis and Aids.