Food, Water, Health Care, and the environment are foundational to sustainable Health
"Communities and countries are only as strong as the health of their women"
Our work in support of the health of women and girls
Reducing child mortality through prevention and action
Main Funder: UNICEF Where: Lilongwe District, Malawi
This three-year project was carried out in nine of Malawi’s Traditional Authorities. The project was designed to address the significant health risks facing children and mothers in the Lilongwe District. The project was designed to reach approximately 130,000 children under five years of age and 43,000 pregnant women and post-partum mothers.
This project employed the Community-Integrated Management of Childhood Illnesses (Community-IMCI) approach to deliver a package of lifesaving health services for children in hard-to-reach communities. This strategy promoted the prevention of illnesses as well as the prompt recognition and appropriate treatment of the most common causes of childhood deaths (i.e. pneumonia, diarrhea, malaria, measles, HIV/AIDS and malnutrition). The Community-IMCI approach has three main areas of focus: (1) improving the skills of health workers, (2) improving health systems, and (3) improving family and community practices.Project strategies included training community members so they could play a role in mobilizing households to practise proper sanitation, hygiene and health practices to improve the health of people in their communities.
More than 2,000 community leaders (traditional chiefs, village headmen, religious leaders) and at least as many other volunteers participated in the training on key practices that affect the health of children under age five as well as the health of pregnant women, including: (1) Physical growth and mental development through breastfeeding for the first six months of an infant’s life, and making sure children are fed properly so they are receiving the vitamins, minerals and protein they need to thrive; (2) Preventing disease by immunizing children, practicing proper hygiene, using bed nets to prevent malaria and having the knowledge required to prevent HIV transmission; and (3) Appropriate home care or actions to manage children when they are sick or injured and preventing child abuse. Community education was provided through drama, poems, songs, demonstrations and home visits.