Training village health workers and councils ensures the success of community-based public health programs.
Local health workers have a strong understanding of the needs of their communities. As well-respected individuals in their villages, they build individual and community capacity by increasing health knowledge and self-sufficiency. They serve as liaisons to facilitate basic medical and preventive care, health training and services for village families.
Our 2020 Impact
Effective Health Workers
Each of our 25 partnering villages has a resident Health Agent, Health Matron and Matron apprentice. They are the first line of defense against health related issues. Because they have trusted relationships in their communities, they possess indispensable knowledge about the health challenges facing the villagers. They play an integral role in our partnership with Village Health and Education Councils.
A people-centered health care delivery system is key to our success in achieving our health goals in sanitation, nutrition and disease prevention. We provide ongoing training and support to our health workers, which allows them to provide basic medical care and act as health educators in their communities. Investing in and training village health workers not only provides jobs in poverty stricken villages, but also builds human capacity and independence.
Our Health Agents are selected by the village chief and play a significant role in creating a healthy village environment. They receive training by our Mali staff to address health issues in their villages. Health Agents provide basic medical, wound care and critical health education. They also coordinate the distribution of mosquito nets and vaccinations, and act as liaisons between the villagers and the Ouelessebougou hospital during our medical expeditions.
“Before the Healthy Village Workshop, we saw many cases of malaria and diarrhea. The villagers didn’t understand cleanliness. We taught them about sanitation. They are now healthier and drink good and clean water.”
– N’Ton Coulibaly, Health Agent in Djenfing
Health Matrons & Apprentices
Our Health Matrons & Apprentices work not only as the midwives in their villages, but also serve as resident authorities in all matters of family health. They receive training and resources to meet the needs of village families. Matrons provide education on women’s health, pre- and post-natal care, breastfeeding, infant care, nutrition, safety and more. They work closely with our Program Manager, Teniningni, to facilitate Days for Girls hygiene kit distribution and provide menstrual education to village women and girls.
Effective Health Councils & 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 we facilitate planning sessions to help villagers identify their goals for a healthier village. The Healthy Village Workshop is a three phase process with villages completing one phase a year. Since these health plans began, incidences of malaria and diarrhea have decreased by significant amounts. Village cleanliness has improved and families are taught the importance of clean water solutions, nutrition, vaccinations and proper sanitation.
Invest in Health Workers
When you invest in our village Health Workers, you are investing in long-term solutions. You are empowering leaders to create healthier village communities. Together we can support village health workers in their efforts to transform health outcomes and save lives in rural Ouelessebougou.