Community Health Agent Malaria Programs
From 2006, ADPP has been recruiting, training and organizing local community members to promote preventative health care and the uptake of existing health services via repeat house-to-house visits and has been developing the Community Health Agents program in alignment with Angola’s policy for Community & Health Development Agents (ADECOS).
Malaria prevention and treatment campaigns have formed part of Community Health projects since their inception in 2006. Community Health Agents provide community members with information and support for behaviour change with respect to malaria and health in general. They develop the capacity to detect signs and symptoms of the disease, and refer potential sufferers to local health services for testing and treatment. They also undertake follow up of referrals to ensure patients complete the course of treatment and that no further cases go undetected in the household or immediate community.
Prevention being key, the CHAs check that households are using mosquito nets and are using them correctly, often tackling myths about the nets being dangerous because of the insecticide they contain. In especially hot weather, they sometimes find people sleeping unprotected outside the home while the nets are perfectly installed but unused inside.
In addition to being responsible for around 100 families, who they visit at regular intervals, each CHA gives lessons about malaria for pregnant women at antenatal clinics, offers home-based malaria tests, organizes or supports community events and helps families and individuals make plans to prevent disease. In the first quarter of 2019 in Uige, more than 2,000 families made HIV prevention plans and a further 2,000 made malaria prevention plans. Home-based testing eliminates the time and cost involved for communities without local health services.