25 September 2017
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Friday, 11 August 2017 14:19

Demand for Health Services Can Address Real Problems, NGO

Written by  Cosmas Chimaliro

Karonga, August 11: Demand for health services by communities can assist in addressing real problems that they often go through in their day-to-day life, says Organization of Networks of Services for Everyone’s (ONSE) Health.

ONSE’s Karonga District Community Mobilisation Officer, Ella Nyirenda, was speaking when she briefed stakeholders Tuesday on the project her organization is implementing in the district.

The health-based project aims to reduce maternal and new born child neo-natal, morbidity and mortality.

Nyirenda said the project focuses on family planning, child health, nutrition, water, sanitation and hygiene among others.

She stated that the project empowers communities to explore their health problems in their respective localities and be able to demand services appropriate for them.

“The project is empowering communities to identify their health problems and where possible, find solutions and demand the services,” she said.

She said when the communities are able to demand services to solve their problems, they can be assisted accordingly as they would be knowledgeable of what they want.

The project activity that empowers the communities is conducted by a structure set-up in the community dubbed ‘Community Health Action Group (CHAG)’. There are 50 such groups in Karonga, according to Nyirenda.

She further said the initiative accords the communities an opportunity to engage in health- seeking behaviour, like observing water, sanitation and hygiene practices as well as achieve open-defecation-free areas.   

“We’ll embark on social behaviour change communication targeting health seeking behaviour so that change of attitude among the people in the communities is attained,’’ she said.

Nyirenda cited media theatre, interpersonal communication by checking health issues in the home for pregnant women and under-five children, and distribution of leaflets as some of the strategies that will be used to achieve health-seeking behaviour among the communities.

The ONSE Project, a consortium of Non-governmental Organisations such as Management Sciences for Health (MSH) and Banja la Msogolo among others, started in 2016 and is being implemented in 16 districts in Malawi to run until 2021.     

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