January 31, 2019
By Emmanuel Okyne
Community Health workers and Facility Management Committees in seventeen Peripheral Health Units ( PHUs) in the Luawa Chiefdom,Kailahun District, have over the weekend received training in health accountability facilitated by the Network Movement for Democracy and Human Rights (NMDHR), with support from Open Society Initiative for West Africa (OSIWA).
National Coordinator NMDHR, Abdul Karim Habib, said the objective of the training was to build the capacity of local communities to access affordable quality healthcare services, as well as to promote the realisation of human rights and social justice in that part of the country.
He stated that fostering grassroot education, mobilisation and empowerment would inform communities about primary healthcare laws and policies in the district, noting that such project would seek to strengthen participatory decision making in the chiefdom.
He added that the project team would be working closely with key healthcare partners to ensure that the project objectives are achieved, adding that key recommendations developed during the FMCs training had to do with behaviours of CHWs towards community residents.
During the session, CHWs raised concern about the challenges they encountered whilst working in rural localities and developed solutions to support the FMCs in building good relationship towards the healthcare for beneficiaries.
The CHWs further that the engagement was inclusive of community stakeholders in ensuring that primary healthcare delivery was effective across the different catchment populations in Luawa Chiefdom.
Programs Manager, Nabieu Kamara, said the project would be working with Community Paralegals, FMCs and CHWs to ensure that health accountability issues were addressed in the chiefdom.
He said the FMC members were important in the project implementation as the Ministry of Health and Sanitation (MoHS) acknowledged the FMCs as a key community health structure in the chiefdom.
He said the FMC would serve as an interface between the community people and healthcare providers, as well as providing timely update to District Health Management Team on community needs and concerns revolving the healthcare needs of their communities.
Augustine Jusu, FMC from Luawa, narrated that there was low level participation from the Community Health Workers in the district, in terms of healthcare service delivery system, adding that healthcare workers were reluctant to working with FMC to address healthcare problems in the district.
He said poor road and mobile connectivity were serious challenges in the district as key areas were difficult to access people via mobile phones.
Juana Nabieu, CHW in Luawa Chiefdom, Kailahun District, complained about the poor facilitation of drug distribution, adding that whenever free health care drug got short, it took months for t to be supplied.