Following an inter-community conflict in 2012, the Mahadougou village residents stopped going to the Zanferebougou community health center for health care services. The conflict arose after the town council and the community health association (ASACO) demanded the closing of a rural maternity hospital in Mahadougou, which did not meet the country's health policy standards.
Despite a series of mediations conducted by the town council and the ASACO in the village of Mahadougou to bring the community to resume attendance at the Zanferebougou CSCom, the residents remained firm in their decision not to, and advised that anyone who sought care at that facility would suffer the punishment of the ancestors”, confided Moussa Bengaly, Technical Director of the community health center.
The USAID funded Keneya Nieta community development agent whose role is to help communities identify and address their own health needs, learned during various coaching visits, that women in the village of Mahadougou were not benefiting from quality maternal and neonatal health care services, which could lead to serious problems, including bleeding during pregnancy, stillbirths, and even maternal and neonatal deaths.
The project is working with 3,859 villages in the regions of Mopti, Sikasso and Ségou to strengthen leadership and local governance over the use of and quality of health services in their communities. To that end, community development agents organized a community dialogue bringing together community leaders and members of the village health committees. They conducted an in-depth analysis of the village's health situation to determine whether it was critical for the community to use services at the community health center. The community dialogue had a significant impact on the community leaders, raising awareness about the advantages of utilizing the health center, enhancing their understanding of the conflict's adverse impact on their communities’ health, and instilling a sense of responsibility in them for ensuring access to quality care for vulnerable groups. As a result, the village members have committed to promptly attend the community health center.
I am very satisfied with the project’s support, which has enabled us to restore the link between the village of Mahadougou and the health center. From December 2022 to July 2023, we have provided antenatal care to 44 women, provided labor and delivery services to 30 women, and postnatal consultations to 30 women,” said Moussa Bengaly, Technical Director of the Zanferebougou Health Center.
Since 2021, USAID Keneya Nieta has supported Mali’s Ministry of Health and Social Development to reduce maternal, neonatal, and infant mortality by increasing demand for quality health care and services by communities in the Mopti, Sikasso, and Segou regions. Currently, the community health platforms monitor 736,558 children under five years of age and 93,406 pregnant women in 3,859 villages to ensure access to quality health care and services.