- Villagers become self-sufficient in providing for their health needs in sanitation, nutrition, and disease prevention
- Villages have a preventive health delivery system including:
- Effective Health Agents and Matrons
- Effective Health Councils and viable village health plans
- Villages have access to healthcare, including OB/GYN, Ophthalmology, Dentistry and Pharmaceuticals
15-16 Health Projects
Healthy Village Plans
To identify the most urgent health needs in each village, Healthy Village Workshops were created in 2005. Village chiefs form Village Health Councils and the Alliance facilitates planning sessions to help villagers identify their goals for a healthier village. The Healthy Village Workshop is a three phase process, with villages completing a phase a year. Since 2005, 16 villages have completed all three phases. Since these health plans began, incidences of malaria and diarrhea have decreased by significant amounts. Village cleanliness has improved with the use of purchased brooms, rakes and other cleaning materials. Children and families are taught the importance of clean water solutions, vaccinations and proper sanitation.
This year Kaban will complete Phase III, Seliban, Sanakaroni, and Folana will complete Phase II, and finally Oure, Faradie, and Faraba will begin with Phase I.
Health Care System and Training
Our Health Agents and Health Matrons are the first line of defense against health related issues in our 25 villages. Each village has 1 agent and 1 matron and 1 matron apprentice. Health Agents can deal with minor wounds, provide CPR and are able to identify common diseases that require further care. In addition, they are critical to the successful distribution of mosquito nets and other health care programs. Health matrons provide pre-natal advice to pregnant women and are available to help with child delivery either in the village or at the public hospital. They also provide critical guidance to new mothers by teaching them the importance of nutrition, breastfeeding and the first 1,000 days of a baby’s life. Both the village health agent and matron sit on the Healthy Village Council to provide support on all village health initiatives. The matrons pass their knowledge on to the younger apprentices’s ensuring a seamless transition as the older matrons phase out of this important work.
Each year, the Alliance staff holds an annual training for the agents, matrons, and apprentices at the Alliance’s compound in Ouelessebougou. Health agents and matrons decide, based on the needs in their villages, on what to focus for each annual training. Recent training’s have included sanitation, neo-natal resuscitation, hygiene, water sanitation and nutrition.This year, agents and matrons will provide monthly reports on village health activity.
The populations at highest risk for malaria are children under the age of five and adults older than 50. Mosquito nets prove to be the best antidote for malaria prevention so the Alliance subsidizes the cost of the nets by selling them to villagers for $1 USD. Data strongly suggests that families do not have a proper understanding of the causes of malaria, so the Alliance includes health training with every net that is distributed. Mosquito nets cost approximately $7.50 USD on the market in Mali—a cost that villagers in rural communities cannot afford. A family of four can sleep under one net for up to 3 years—protecting them from one of Africa’s most life-threatening diseases.
This year the Alliance plans to distribute over 1,300 nets.
The Alliance has a long-standing relationship with the government of Mali to provide vaccinations in villages in- and -around the Ouelessebougou commune. While the Malian government has the means to provide the vaccinations, they are unable to distribute them to villagers in rural communities. Vaccinations are given for the following 9 life-threatening diseases: polio, yellow fever, measles, tuberculosis, diphtheria, hepatitis A, vitamin A deficiency, the flu, and tetanus.
This year the Alliance will provide approximately 3,500 vaccinations to babies and children under the age of 5.
Nurturing Nutrition and Women’s Training Garden
This year the Alliance is implementing an agricultural program specifically aimed at village women. In partnership with Feed the World, Alliance staff will work with the Ouelessebougou Alliance Women’s Association garden to provide training and increase productivity. The Alliance will invest in improving the basic infrastructure of the garden so that women from other villages can be trained at the garden as well. This year the Alliance will also provide nutrition training to all 11 Alliance schools and a school garden in the village of Famana. The school garden will replicate the Women’s Training Garden with the aim to teach village kids and their families on the importance of nutrition.
This year the Alliance will aim to train over 100 women and educate over 1,900 kids.
Critical Surgeries & Medical Care
One billion people worldwide lack adequate access to primary healthcare. The situation is especially severe in sub-Saharan Africa where access to affordable health care and medicine is complicated further by geography, extreme poverty and cultural traditions. The Alliance partners with local Utah medical teams to provide services that are either unavailable or too expensive for our village friends. In line with our goal to strengthen the sustainability of our efforts, medical expeditions work with local Malian doctors and medical staff and also involve our village health agents and matrons.
OB/GYN, dental and ophthalmology teams travel to Ouelessebougou to perform surgeries, provide annual check-ups for children, and model proper health care for Malian health workers.