Community Platforms Improve Health in Soufouroulaye

Speeches Shim

Thursday, June 23, 2022
Sidi Doumbia, Technical Director et Soufouroulaye CSCOM
Kènèya Nièta

Involving the community in managing health issues is an effective and sustainable solution for improving health indicators.

Antenatal care visits for pregnant mothers, assisted births, and childhood immunizations are critically important in achieving positive community health outcomes. In the Soufouroulaye health area of Mopti Region, achieving objectives for maternal, neonatal, and child health care presents major challenges for the community health center (CSCom).

The Soufouroulaye health area covers eight villages with more than 13,000 inhabitants.  According to Sidi Doumbia, Technical Director of the Soufouroulaye Health Center, "Despite the availability of services in the health center and regular village outreach in 2020, the rate of women attending their first antenatal care visit (ANC1) was 78% and the rate attending their fourth visit (ANC 4) was 17%. Only 43% of women were assisted in giving birth by a skilled health attendant and for child immunization we were only able to achieve 75% measles vaccination coverage (VAR). Health promotion activities carried out by community health workers and volunteers, which should contribute to the improvement of these indicators, were timid."

In June 2021, USAID Keneya Nieta implemented a high-impact intervention in the Soufouroulaye health district to empower local actors. The goal was to reinvigorate existing community health platforms and establish new platforms where needed by bringing together village health management committees; local health savings and finance societies; nutrition support groups; water, sanitation, and hygiene committees; community health workers; and local volunteers.

Community health platform members received training on roles and responsibilities and were coached monthly on best practices for promoting healthy behaviors at the household level. Thanks to these efforts, seven health platforms in Soufouroulaye established health solidarity funds to cover the costs of care and transportation to health centers, and four villages established emergency transportation mechanisms. Platform members are now actively conducting household visits, immunization outreach activities, and health education sessions.

 The results are undeniable. “The combined actions of the community health platforms have enabled us to increase the rates of ANC1 to 91%, ANC4 to 26%, and assisted deliveries from 43% to 47% in 2021. The rate of VAR immunization has reached 85% compared to 75% in 2020.” stressed Doumbia.

USAID Keneya Nieta, implemented by University Research Co., strengthens Mali’s community health system. The activity helps to improve maternal, newborn and child health in 4,000 villages within Mali’s regions of Mopti, Segou, and Sikasso by working with village health committees in 654 health areas. Since June 2021, 1,737 villages supported by Keneya Nieta have established village solidarity funds with total contributions of $294,155 USD (185,003,218 FCFA). These funds have already benefitted more than 900 pregnant women and 400 children under the age of five to cover the costs of ANC visits, transportation, and health center deliveries.

Last updated: August 01, 2022

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