GITEGA June 26th (ABP) – The Minister of Public Health and the Fight against AIDS, Dr Thaddée Ndikumana, together with the governor of Gitega province, Mr Venant Manirambona, handed over 377 bicycles on Thursday to the village officials of the community health workers’ groups from the health districts of Mutaho and Ryansoro, to facilitate their travel during their community health relay activities in their villages of residence.
Dr Ndikumana indicated that the Ministry in charge of Health has taken the initiative to give bicycles to the heads of community health workers’ groups in the 4 health districts of Gitega province with the aim of improving their working conditions. He added that community health workers (CHWs) play an important role of community relay between the people and the health centers. This is why the ministry in charge of health has already instituted the role of CHWs in its five-year health development plan which is inspired by the National Development Plan (PND). This community component is also part of the WHO goal of ensuring accessibility of healthcare for everyone, but especially community health care.
The activities of the CHWs include training and sensitizing the people on proper nutrition for their children, hygiene, reproductive health, family planning, and compliance with the childhood vaccination schedule. They also teach pregnant women about the benefits of follow-up antenatal care. They also instruct young people to adopt responsible behaviors to avoid sexual vagrancy and other bad behavior. CHWs can also treat conditions that affect the health of children under five such as acute malaria, pneumonia and acute diarrhea.
As an encouragement to CHWs, the Ministry of Public Health and the Fight against AIDS grants groups of community health workers motivation bonuses on a quarterly basis based on their achievements. Those motivations are used by health workers and groups to undertake individual and associative self-development initiatives. Thus, members of those groups testified that their teachings contribute in the promotion of the health of their respective villages. They also indicated that they have opened accounts for their groups thanks to monthly contributions and some groups have capital amounting to four million Burundi francs. Other health workers have already bought land for cultivation while others have bought large and small livestock for livestock.