The Community-Hospital Alliance Program (CHAP), a partnership between Empower Tanzania and Global Health Administration Partners, is one year old!
Over the last year, we’ve seen incredible results. CHAP managers and volunteers have trained 30 lay Maasai women to serve as community health workers (CHWs) in 21 remote Maasai villages where they live. These women provide disease surveillance and prevention, timely provision of life-saving treatments, and patient referrals to health facilities. As a bonus, they also provide health education to their fellow villagers.
Collaboration is key to Empower Tanzania and an important feature of CHAP is the close integration of the CHWs with the formal healthcare system in Tanzania. To facilitate this, the CHWs have two government clinical officers who contract with the program to serve as supervisors. The CHWs meet monthly with their supervisor to replenish medical supplies, report data, and receive healthcare information and answers to questions regarding clinical cases they have encountered.
The CHWs have evaluated, treated, and referred patients for a variety of problems including dog bites, burns, wounds, fractures, HIV, TB, malaria, high blood pressure, fever, complications of pregnancy, eye disease, and dental problems. They have performed numerous safe deliveries and have increased the use of formal healthcare services for deliveries and other healthcare needs. Pit latrines have been constructed in their villages and they have instituted other measures for improved sanitation such as safe water practices and hand washing.
The Maasai in the 21 target villages have demonstrated positive responses to the health education provided by the CHWs and the educational efforts have been well received and supported by the men. All parties, including government officials, healthcare personnel, and the Maasai villagers, are enthusiastic about the program and its early impact. It’s a happy day indeed!
We’re excited to continue working with our CHWs and empowering local Tanzanians, all the while offering access to important health services. In fact, the program is growing! The CHWs requested that Maasai men be allowed to participate! This is a great development and may prove a crucial component as men have significant influence on the issues of female genital mutilation, contraception, and gender-based violence.
We were thrilled to obtain generous funds from private donors to support a three-day training program for 30 men this June. Men will be instructed on basic public health topics and will have one day of overlap with the CHW refresher program for joint training on female genital mutilation, gender-based violence, and family planning.
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