Hidden by overarching forests, Action Africa Help International has been running one of its best performing health projects since 2005.
Funded by USAID, the Mundri Health Transformation Project (MTHP II) was launched in 2009 and implemented in Mundri West county of Western Equatoria State in South Sudan. MTHP II’s objective is to work to transition health service delivery to relief development by expanding access and coverage.
Dr. Omer Yahya, the AAH South Sudan MHTP II project coordinator said the success of the project has been as a result of effective community mobilization. The project also works closely with the County Health Department. Weekly reports and high standards are demanded of the entire project team to keep up the high performance levels. “We facilitate trainings often and keep our face in the community,” Yahya said. “They know us and they trust us.”
County Medical Officer Lorance Bona says the link between AAH SS and the local government leaders is solid. “Here, we work as a team.” Bona said. We enjoy a good relationship with each other.”
Of the 3 PHCC’s and 17 PHCU’s, a combined number of 450 patients are seen on average every day. Most illnesses are malaria-related, especially during rainy season. Still with the good performance things are not always easy on the ground.
Loice Semira, Clinical Health Worker at the Kotobi Primary Health Care Center (PHCC) said transportation is one of their biggest challenges. The closest hospital to send referrals is 27 miles away.
“Last year we had a complicated delivery that needed to be referred to the hospital,” Semira said. “The child died on the way because it took us so long to secure a ride.”
Vida Ezekial of Karika Primary Health Care Unit (PHCU) has been assisting with maternal child health care at the facility for almost 12 years, seeing an average of five to 10 patients a day.
“The trainings AAH SS gives us are the tools we need to do good things for this community,” Ezekial said. “We really appreciate them.”
AAH SS through MHTP II continues to help in improving maternal and child health in Mundri West by immunizing infants less than 1 year -DPT3, Vitamin A supplementation, and Polio. Mothers also had access to Antenatal care where they received iron/foliate supplementation, delivered by assistance of skilled birth attendants and received Long-lasting Insecticide treated Nets.
In 2011, the project used health education strategies and IEC materials at the health facilities to increase demand for and access to preventative and curative services. In the community level; peer educators, home health promoters, puppetry shows and drama were used to create awareness on various health issues such as malaria and HIV/AIDs prevention. Health education sessions on the importance of exclusive breastfeeding and promotion of infants and young child feeding were conducted.
The project received recognition last year from the Management Sciences for Health (MSH) for outstanding performance on delivery of high impact health services that include child and maternal health, nutrition and family planning among others.