The project seeks to strengthen the community health system, particularly with respect to malaria, HIV and TB, by building on the existing network of health posts in the operation areas in each of four provinces Malange, Uige, Moxico and Lunda Norte. 21 health posts in four provinces are involved in the project, with one nurse at each post functioning as contact person for three or four Community Health Agents deployed by the project. In addition to the Community Health Agents, the project staff consists of two Project Leaders and four Supervisors. 310 volunteers support the program.
The Health Agents are local people, who know the area well. Towards the beginning of the project, they received training in malaria, HIV and TB, and each Agent interviewed 35 families, to gather more precise information about the health situation in their area. They subsequently worked with an average of 220 families each, registering the members of the household, initiating awareness campaigns and mobilizing people to seek medical help where necessary.
Key elements of the project include mobilization for HIV testing, encouraging pregnant women to attend antenatal clinics, visiting households to identify and refer people with TB for treatment, creating Mutual Support Groups for families of people with HIV and TB, and organizing health days. The project started in January 2017 and the first phase is scheduled to end in mid 2018. In the first year of operation, the project succeeded in increasing the number of attendances at maternity units, the number of people being tested for HIV or TB, and the number of children receiving life-saving vaccinations. Attitudes to health and disease began changing, with individuals and communities talking openly about the subject and taking measures towards prevention and control.
Selected results included:
- 4 Provinces
- 8 Municipalities
- 67 Community Health Agents
- 21 Health Posts
- 14,700 Families registered
- 22,737 People reached through lessons and events
- 3,456 Attendances at antenatal clinics
- 7 Health days