Short Story on Malaria Competence Location: Bonthe District, Southern Sierra Leone

After attending the Roll Back Malaria (RBM) Facilitators training on the Malaria Competence Approach in Kenya in May 2005, and due to my preserved need for such a community tool, I introduced the Malaria Competence Approach in Bonthe district, Southern Sierra Leone. The initial simple process for introducing the Competence Approach to communities was by inviting five representatives from each of the 12 chiefdoms in Bonthe district to two-day Community Development Consultative meeting on the distribution of Long Lasting Insecticide Treated Nets (LLINs) for malaria prevention in Mattru, Bonthe district.

The main success of the Competence Approach was its ability to mobilize community action on malaria prevention and control. Community representatives had to assess their malaria competence by discussions and then agreed on actions through which they could reach their stated target levels on the malaria competence framework. As a result, World Vision Sierra Leone (WVSL) together with the communities successfully distributed over 20,000 LLINs in the entire district. This was amazing to us.

Apart from the community’s support in transporting their LLITNs consignment, the community was able to supervise, monitor and report the nets distribution and use after three months of operations. With the enthusiasm, support, participation and ownership with which the community distributed the LLINs, WVSL then realized that there is a great need for using the Malaria Competence Approach as a model for our malaria projects.

In closing, I want to tell everyone present here that the Malaria Competence Approach for local community response is very impressive and realistic. It was a catalyst for mobilizing active community participation in the distribution and utilization of LLINs in Bonthe district. To date, I have continued using the competence process.

I want to thank you all for your attention and understanding.

Story Presented by: Joseph Senesie – World Vision International Date: March 23, 2009

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Comment by Joseph Senesie on May 27, 2009 at 5:26pm
Hello Phil,
Sorry for the delay in getting back to you which has been due to involvement in activities including Sierra Leone's Global Fund Round 9 Proposal.

To answer your question, the community representatives from each chiefdom and health facilities personnel formed the Chiefdom Development Committees (CDCs). The CDCs were incharge of the LLINs as was agreed in the CDC Meeting for the entire Bonthe district after carrying out the Malaria Compeetence Process (MCP). Children underfives and pregnant women were targeted as beneficiaries of the nets. The initial number of LLINs distributed to each CDC per chiefdom was 300 and replenishment was done after reporting on utilization of the 300. The LLIN distribution was prioritzed to be worked on for three months for which the next meeting was scheduled after three months from initial meeting. It was a knowledge fair where every chiefdom accounted for and shared successes in their response to malaria programming including LLIN use and sanitation issues. Presentations of the second malaria self-assessment on progress in relation to initially set targets were interesting and useful.
Comment by Phil on May 20, 2009 at 10:17pm
Hello Joseph,
You say that the community was able 'to supervise, to monitor and to report the nets' distribution and use after 3 months'. Do you have any more details on what the process of supervising, monitoring and reporting involved? And, in particular, do we have results on the effectiveness of the process. So how many nets were distributed and how many were being used? I wonder what the community could share with others to make their campaigns equally effective?

Best regards
Comment by Laurence Gilliot on May 20, 2009 at 8:11am
Dear Joseph,

Thanks a lot for your important message. Malaria is such a bg issue, with a child dying every 30 second in Sub-Sahara Africa. It is great work you are doing and local ownership is key to stop malaria from spreading and killing any more...



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