Copperbelt Phase Two Project – 2021 Highlights
By Maudy Lwenje, Project Manager, Malaria Partners Zambia
The goal of phase two was to train a total of 1,055 Community Health Workers. The Integrated Community Case Management (iCCM) for Community Health Worker (CHW) trainings started in May, 2021 from Mufulira District which trained 387 CHWs by July 2021. The District Governor who is now IPDG Lucie Chisanga officiated the opening ceremony.
The Trainings were then moved to Luanshya District where 255 Community Health Workers were trained by the end of October,2021. District Governor Victor Mensah visited two of the training which ran at the same time.
We are now in Luanshya District where 345 CHWs have been trained and equipped out of 413 CHWs to be trained. The remaining 68 CHWs are currently in training. The District Governor Victor Mensah took an opportunity to attend one closing ceremony.
The aim of the training was to impart knowledge and enhance skills of the CHW in community malaria surveillance towards the elimination of malaria in Zambia by 2021. In addition, the training was aimed at imparting skills in CHWs as they care for sick children in communities through integrated Community Case Management of children aged 2 months to 5 years.
In this course on “caring for the sick child in the community” which is part of the strategy called integrated community case management (iCCM) aimed at enhancing skills to participants in identifying signs of illness in a child, aged 2months up to 5 years, the other emphasis was on follow up of all Confirmed malaria cases in the community as part of active response as Zambia works to eliminate malaria by 2021.
In Zambia, one in every 9 children die before their fifth birthday. The infant mortality rates and under five mortality rates have however reduced from 109 to 70 per 1000 live births and 168 to 119 per 1000 live births respectively. This is still unacceptably high. The main causes of death remain the same: new-born illnesses 26% of death is due to infection, asphyxia, prematurity, 15% is due to Malaria, 14% is due to diarrhea, 13% is due to Pneumonia, whilst 42% underlies Malnutrition of all under five deaths, 52% of most mothers deliver at home, and only 39% of mothers attend postnatal care services within 48 hours after delivery. (ZDHS).
In 2007 Zambia demographic and health survey showed the following figures for the number of children receiving correct treatment for three main causes of mortality:
- Malaria (fever) 43%,
- Pneumonia 47%,
- And diarrhea 56% respectively.
Like any other district in Zambia, the three targeted Districts under Phase 11 Malaria Elimination Project has equally its challenges of high infant morbidity and mortality rates. Some of the reasons attributed to are:
- Long distances to health facilities,
- Inadequate skilled man power in most health facilities.
- Challenges of community transport systems
- Poor road infrastructure
From this background a well-trained Community Health Worker who is able to identify a sick child and decide on treatment and when to refer within 24 hours of onset of problems can make a positive impact on the survival of children.
As a way of encouraging the participants during the trainings Provincial Health Director Dr. Robert Zulu accompanied the CHWs for their field practicals on several occasions.
Community work is tough and requires a lot of sacrifices. To voluntarily serve members of your community day and night without pay is perhaps the highest form of sacrifice. But this is what community health workers have committed to do every day. Determined to eliminate the deadliest killer of infants and adults alike, our community-based volunteers are resolved and determined to play their part. In all our years of service, perhaps no one personifies sacrifice like Elias Banda. We met Elias Banda on June 4th, 2022.
From the 12th to the 14th of May, Rotary District 9214 held its 97th District Conference in Arusha. Over Six hundred participants were in attendance. Rotarians, Rotaractors, interactors and guests had a chance to discuss and vote on important District matters.
Laughter, dancing and singing was the mood in Bulosi village during the MPU/RC Busia visit to Busime Malaria Project on Saturday 28th May 2022. Funded by a small grant from MPI, RC Busia has since received 1,500 mosquito nets from Youth Environment Services and UGX 1,000,000 from Equity bank, Busia branch. According to the bank’s Credit Manager James Sekairi, “Giving to Rotary is no loss.”