Community Health Agents Uige
Community Health Agents Uige is a project aimed at promoting community control of malaria, HIV and TB in Maquela do Zombe, Uige. The project aims to reach 30.000 people directly, through household visits and community activities by 50 Community Health Agents lessons and outreach activities at 20 schools.
The project was officially launched on the 14th of July 2016, at a ceremony attended by approximately 150 people, including the Provincial Health Director Luisa Cambuta and the Municipal Administrator for Maquela do Zombo, Banjo Henrique Moko.
After an introductory meeting with the the Provincial Director of Education about the project concept and the malaria school program, the project mapped the 20 schools to be included and held the first introductory meeting for headmasters on the 3rd of September. All involved have been very enthusiastic about the project. At the end of September, the first 49 teachers from different schools in Maquela municipality were trained on malaria, HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and basic facts about nutrition. Training lasted four days and was led by two facilitators from the Department of Health along with project staff. The Municipal Education Director for Maquela do Zombo opened the session, and the teachers participated actively throughout the training. In addition to learning about the topics mentioned above, the teachers made plans regarding the malaria school program and about conducting lessons. On the final day of the course, all participating teachers received certificates of attendance, T-shirts for the purpose of identification and malaria manuals. The Education Director, Health Director and the Projector Leader took part. The Education Director expressed gratitude for the school program, emphasizing the importance of combining health and education by way of the malaria school program. In his speech, he said teachers and pupils had great influence in the community, and should therefore be well informed about disease prevention and engaged in health actions. He said that the teachers should use the knowledge gained and disseminate the information to their pupils and the broader community. The Director rounded off by commenting that he would follow up to see if the teachers were using the acquired information and that they were working to be at the forefront to establish the malaria control program in schools.
Simultaneously, the project recruited and trained 50 Community Health Agents and 2 Community School Health Agent Leaders. Training was conducted by staff and the Municipal Health Department. The Municipal Health Director officially opened, and participated in, the initial training, where he urged the Community Health Agents to make use of the occasion to absorb all information and acquire relevant skills regarding community mobilization. The focus was on malaria and HIV/TB, the giving of information, the imparting of skills, and a practical element carried out in the nearby community. Training ran from 19 to 29 July, with eight days dedicated to theoretical aspects and two days assigned to practical actions in the community. The closing act was hosted by the Municipal Administrator Benji Henrique Moko, the Municipal Health Director, and the Municipal Education Director, together with other facilitators from the Heath Department. In his concluding remarks, the Administrator urged the Community Health Agents to use the information acquired to educate people and strengthen links between the community and the health service. By September, 3,220 families were registered in Maquela while 15,362 people were met and talked to for the first time.
The project informed and trained 26 traditional leaders as community activists. During training, project staff explained basics facts about malaria, HIV and TB, about project expectations of the traditional leaders and of their role in the community projects in their areas. The traditional leaders were grateful for their involvement in the project in its initial phase and they are ready to work together with Community Health Agents. Traditional leaders have been participating in weekly meetings together with Community Heath Agents in two communities in Maquela do Zombo.