The Lwala Community Alliance employs an extensive community health network that uses community members as the drivers and educators of health information and services. 87% of our Community Health Workers (CHWs) are women, and they are leading the effort to influence health-seeking behavior among their neighbors, families, and friends. The community health team also collects community-based health statistics and provides mobilization for hospital-based services.
The Lwala Community Alliance deploys a team of 80 CHWs to recruit and enroll women of reproductive age in the entire spectrum of care from education on birth spacing, to prenatal care during pregnancy, to testing and treatment for HIV, to safe delivery by a skilled attendant. We track newborns until they are fully immunized and offer new mothers family planning options. Through our partnership with Health eVillages, our clinicians and CHWs have access to iPods and iPads loaded with the Skyscape medical reference app, which is used during home visits and in the hospital.
Click here to read our 2016 Maternal and Child Health Impact Report.
This network of CHWs has transformed maternal health care in and around Lwala. Currently, 94% percent of pregnant women are delivering at a health facility with a skilled nurse, up from 26% before our commitment. These safe births (including healthcare services before, during and after delivery) are being supported through our partnership with Kangu. The CHWs are the key to our success as they provide education on family planning and child health issues in the clients’ homes, accompany women to the hospital for services, provide social support for issues surrounding pregnancy and raising children, and connect families to the Lwala Community Hospital.
In 2014, Ronald McDonald House Charities joined Lwala to support “Thrive thru 5,” a program that extends clinical services and community outreach efforts to children from conception up to age 5 in order to reduce under-5 mortality in the community by 50%.
Due to the high rates of teen pregnancy and the difficulty young people have in accessing health services, Lwala Community Alliance established the Youth Peer Provider (YPP) program. With support from Segal Family Foundation, Lwala has recruited and deployed a team of youth health workers, who are trained to reach their adolescent peers with sexual and reproductive health information and refer them to the health facility for services.
Like their older CHW teammates, the YPPs are effective because they have strong trust relationships with those they serve. We also host health clubs in local schools and conduct youth-only clinics and outreaches in order to educate youth and improve accessibility of contraceptives.
With support from our partner Blood:Water Mission, we train community members in water, sanitation, and hygiene practices (WASH) practices. The highly participatory curriculum covers causes of water borne illness, techniques for water treatment, latrine building, and skills for community mobilization.
To date, more than 1,000 people have been trained in WASH. With Blood:Water Mission’s support, we also have provided clean water access and sanitation facilities to students in 13 local schools.
You can help us sustain our existing programs and roll out further initiatives by making a donation now.