Chikankata Health Services have repsonded to the needs of the local area and villagers by developing an extensive programme of community primary health care services. Projects implemented so far include community counselling and home-based care. The Chikanakata area is vast and remote and for many getting to the hospital is difficult, particularly when suffering from an illness. Five Affiliated Health Centres have been set up in strategic locations around the village settlement, making primary health care more accessible. Additionally two mobile clinics leave the hospital each day to provide care for those too sick to leave home. These clinics also provide other services including immunisation programmes for children and training Traditional Birth Attendents and Community Health Workers. This project receives sponsorship from the European Union.
Outline of major components of CHD&RD
The main objective of the Community Health Development and Research Department (CHD & RD) is to contribute to the improved quality of life in the Chikankata catchment area through various interventions. The hospital decided to put all community health and development activities under one programme to strengthen and coordinate the delivery of health services at community level. The bringing together of these entities will promote optimum utilization of resources and realize our primary health care potential. For the strategy to succeed there is a strong desire to partner with community members who are an extremely important link in the whole chain of care. It is envisaged that the partnership with our local community members will promote ownership and sustainability for the future of our communities.
CHD&RD consists of six major components, namely:
- Health Promotion.
- Community Based Care and Support.
- Rural Health Center Support.
- Health Management Information Systems.
- Programme Development.
- To promote and provide (essential) Primary Health Care services as close to the individual, family and community as possible.
- To facilitate community capacity building to achieve appropriate and sustainable levels of family and community health care
- To facilitate identification of community health and developmental problems and finding solutions using available resources within the communities.
- To strengthen and support five RHCs in the delivery of quality essential health services and effective referral system to and from the hospital and communities.
- To facilitate experiential learning for health staff, students, volunteers and the community in health and development issues.
- To strengthen the information base relevant to the running and programming of health and development issues.
- To identify and facilitate research in any Health related field by both local and International individuals/Organisations.
Chikankata Health Services have responded accordingly to the needs of the local area and villagers by developing an extensive programme of community primary health care services. Projects implemented so far include community counseling and home-based care. The Chikankata area is vast and remote with a catchment area of over 100,000 people, and for many, getting to the hospital, is difficult, especially when ill. As a result, Nine (9) Affiliated Health Centres / Clinics have been set up in strategic locations around the village settlement, making primary health care more accessible to those in greatest need.
Chikanzaya Rural Health Centre is one such clinic. The team has to cross many streams such as this one to reach our health centres. It can be difficult during the rainy season. However, nothing can stop our committed team members from reaching out to those most in need. Additionally, two mobile clinics leave the hospital each day to provide care for those too sick to leave home. Other services provided by the clinic include immunization programmes for children and the training of Traditional Birth Attendants and Community Health Workers.
CHD & RD also employs community counseling and health education as strategies for change. It is envisaged that this approach will develop and enhance our capacity for community engagement by encouraging and influencing healthier lifestyles which will reduce preventable disease and death. People have the capacity to change when they understand the reasons why they should. Therefore, intensifying counseling and education at all levels of our society cannot be over emphasized. Communities within our area have demonstrated that behaviour change is possible by changing through education on key cultural / traditional habits such as the ritual cleansing by sexual intercourse when a spouse dies, thus reducing the spread of HIV.
Working and actively engaging with communities in this way has been seen as a resource and model in influencing other health programmes:
- by providing a forum for experience
- through sharing with other programmes and institutions
- in training and mobilizing community members so that appropriate knowledge and skills are developed.
The historical lack of basic knowledge on Health combined with the poor accessibility to health facilities and knowledge on issues of nutrition has facilitated the formulation of an innovative approach within the integrated programmes of the CHD & RD. Therefore, CHD & RD seeks to work within our community, through mutual respect to facilitate skills to motivate our communities toward building a healthier lifestyle across our society.
Because of good functioning community structures research becomes easy and so, CHD & RD welcomes any individual or Organization to partner with in that area. Some of the other functions under CHD & RD are the distribution of mosquito nets in surrounding communities, providing environmental health, clean water and sanitation.