TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 27, 2016

Malawi improves child health services

Malawi improves child health services | Courtesy of myvmc.org
The Ministry of Health in Malawi has made steady progress in improving child health services throughout the country, particularly malaria care for families living in rural, remote regions.

One part of this has been community health workers, who have been receiving training to treat many of the diseases that commonly afflict children in Malawi. This is known as the Rapid Access Expansion (RAcE) program, which first started in 2013 and has received funding from Canada.

RAcE is focused on malaria, diarrhea and pneumonia by using the integrated community case management of childhood diseases. Many rural communities have stated that they already see a difference in the health of their regions.

In 2012, malaria, diarrhea and pneumonia together were responsible for 45 percent of childhood deaths, typically involving children who are less than 5 years old. With new training, health workers are trained to detect and treat symptoms like fevers that are indicative of more serious health problems developing.

“The incidence of preventable deaths among children underscored the need for the program years ago,” Storn Kabuluzi, director of preventive health services at the Malawi Ministry of Health, said. “So we adopted an aggressive strategy for child survival in 2008. Thanks to these efforts, Malawi is now on track to achieve MDG 4.”

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