Community health workers in 25 of 30 districts Rwanda have been armed with gear that protects them against rain, the scotching sun and while maneuvering through impassable terrain.
Imbuto foundation said on Friday, “We donated weather protective equipment to Community Health Workers in 25 districts. These materials include uniforms, rain suits, boots and umbrellas.”
The foundation added that this donation was possible through partnership with the ministry of Health and Rwanda Biomedical Centre.
Community health workers are a vital component of the Rwanda health care system because they traverse the country’s landscape classified as mountainous to deliver services to communities in each village. They are coordinated by the Community Health Desk of the Ministry of Health.
They mobilise the community on advantages of immunization, family planning services, malaria prevention and treatment. They are instrumental in nutrition surveillance program and they also help in efforts on TB and HIV/AIDS prevention.
Each district is divided into sectors, which are further divided into cells and finally into villages, Imidugudu. On average, a village can accommodate 50 to 150 households.
Every village has four CHWs. Each village has a maternal health worker responsible for identification of pregnant women, antenatal care visits, and ensuring delivery at health facilities.
Despite current health achievements, like many African countries the CHW program in Rwanda still faces significant challenges that hinder delivery of the quality of the comprehensive package of services.
These challenges range from low capacity of CHWs, to insufficient resources to sustain routine community health activities including cooperatives, training, and refresher training, to reinforcing supply systems, to purchasing equipment, to upgrading infrastructures needed to deliver more health services to the community.
Effectively addressing these challenges will significantly contribute to the achievement of the national health targets.