A Local Community Health Association Working to Improve Malaria Case Management

Monday, April 27, 2020
Patients managed for severe Malaria cases in Koumantou community health center
Boubacar Diarra, SSGI

Self-assessment process helped the Koumantou health center to correct its deficiencies. Now patients have confidence in the clinic and receive improved care.

The Koumantou community health center (CSCom) in Mali’s Sikasso region (southern Mali) was overcrowded, undersupplied, and inefficient—a significant risk to patients. Similar to the majority of CSComs in Mali, Koumantou could only diagnose and treat simple uncomplicated cases of malaria, as it did not have the space to hospitalize patients with severe malaria.  Severe malaria cases had to be referred to the Bougouni district hospital. 

With the support of the USAID/Services de Santé à Grand Impact project (SSGI), the Koumantou local community health association (ASACO) carried out a self-assessment process in 2016. Inadequate infrastructure to carry out services, which includes hospitalization room and the lack of a laboratory for enhancing malaria quality treatment meetings between and health facility technical staff are discussed was a major issue identified. As part of the process, the ASACO developed an institutional improvement plan and then began in earnest to address their deficiencies. USAID/SSGI accompanied the ASACO throughout on-the-job training and coaching visits with ASACOs to provide them with assistance to address the most pressing issues identified in the improvement plan.

The ASACO decided to invest in building a laboratory and hire a skilled staff in order to improve the availability and quality of malaria case management in Koumantou. The association mobilized $ 7,760 of its own funds. In addition, they worked with Koumantou town hall who provided $ 20 690 to construct an in-patient observation/care room.  In 2017, the equipped laboratory opened, and the in-patient care room was completed.  The result: a well-functioning health facility meeting the community’s needs to diagnose and treat malaria.

The Koumantou laboratory in action
The Koumantou laboratory in action
Boubacar Diarra, SSGI


 “The construction of the laboratory was a huge relief for our CSCOM. A laboratory diagnostic of all malaria cases and other laboratory tests are done now in this facility. The patients of severe malaria cases no longer need to be referred to other district referral hospitals”, explains  Youssouf Diarra, the technical director of Koumanatou CSCom.

After construction of the new facilities, the CSCom conducted 8969 malaria tests between January 2018 and December 2019.  An equal number were managed at the CSCom showing 100% treatment of all malaria cases, including severe malaria at the Koumantou health center.  

“Thanks to the advice, coaching and training provided thanks to the USAID/SSGI we were able to build this laboratory for better work quality of our CSCOM staff and the wellbeing of our population,” adds Birama Togola, ASACO’s President.

With its mission to eliminate preventable causes of maternal, neonatal and child mortality, USAID/SSGI has supported self-assessments of 682 health centers in with 635 coaching visits in project four regions. This capacity building approach improves ASACO and CSCOM institutional capacity development and quality services in primary health facilities and promotes sustainability.

Last updated: July 01, 2020

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