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Malaria Competence Approach is having tremendous impact in reducing malaria sicknesses and deaths in the community particularly children and women in Imperi Chiefdom as reported by the local communities.
Article about the work in Imperi chiefdom.
The Malaria Competence Approach is one of the community-based interventions whereby communities locally respond to malaria. Malaria in the mende local dialect is known as “Gbelue / Kolewah”, a major health problem all over Sierra Leone. Funded by World Vision Ireland, the Malaria Competence Approach was piloted by World Vision Sierra Leone to Roll Back Malaria in 9 out of 69 villages in the Imperi ADP, Bonthe district, Southern Sierra Leone. A two-day facilitation session for community representatives from all nine targeted communities assembled in Morbopu village in April 2009. Through the facilitation of a self-assessment the various communities identified their health problems which included malaria. Amongst the Roll Back Malaria prevention and control practices, the use of LLIN (Long Lasting Insecticide Mosquito Net) and appropriate/timely treatment seeking behaviour were prioritized by four villages. As part of the Competence Approach, a day’s follow up support and learning visit know as SALT visit (Support, Appreciate, Learn/Listen, and knowledge Transfer) was carried out in Momaligie village with all 9 villages in attendance again on February 1, 2010. After the SALT visit session during which participants shared community experiences with the Competence Approach, those in attendance and facilitators were taken round the host village to show hanging LLIN mosquito nets over beds of children and adults.
Apart from the improved community involvement and participation in pursuing targeted set of health intervention areas, the communities shared impressive stories of the impact noted so far in their villages. Four villages that chose to intervene on malaria such as Momaligie, Samahun, Mowonde and Sokoloh implemented a targeted LLIN distribution for school children, pregnant women and lactating mothers in June 2009. The communities also promoted access to prompt treatment for fever since malaria can even kill the children within 24 hours onset.
All four villages revealed that:
“To date, no infant, child and maternal deaths were recorded since April 2009 after the facilitation of the Malaria Competence Approach. There is improved sanitation in the villages as youths are mobilized to carry out brushing around the villages”
Lessons learned and Recommendations:
- After the competence approach facilitation of self-assessment and target setting, the community representatives were able to educate and mobilize their communities on health issues including the fight against malaria
- Based on the positive recalls of community members on the impact created on the use of the Competence Approach, it is recommended that there should be increased SALT visits
- Need to introduce the approach in other cluster villages in Imperi ADP
- Communities are now demanding highly needed facilities such as health posts, toilets, water wells, and access to malaria treatments and LLINs
David Kpevai – WVSL ADP Manager
Joseph Senesie (Both are Community Competence Approach Facilitators)