Training Thousands. Saving Thousands.
Community Health Workers in Central African Republic
At International Medical Corps, we strive to build self-reliance in every community we serve. As an organisation, we are passionate about providing training and it has always been an integral part of our work.
Every year, we train thousands of people from local communities. This kind of intervention saves lives by ensuring local populations are better prepared, should disaster hit again.
Alongside resilience, prevention is an essential element to the training International Medical Corps provides. Avoiding disease in the first place remains a top priority.
That training comes in many shapes and sizes. In the Central African Republic (CAR), a country hard-hit by conflict, we train Community Health Volunteers in an IDP-camp near Bambari, a town in the Ouaka prefecture. Thanks to funding by the European Union (ECHO), volunteers living in the camp are provided with health-related training. These skills can later be passed onto family, friends and neighbours – ultimately benefiting the entire community.
International Medical Corps’ Community Health Workers carry out crucial work in the camp. Among other things, they screen for and monitor children with severe acute malnutrition at the organisation’s therapeutic outpatient program. They also teach parents about infant and young child feeding, so that families can spot signs of under-nutrition early on and seek medical assistance in time.
Our team met with Pamela, a mother of three, living in the camp. She and her family are displaced from Gbiasssongo, an area in Bambari, CAR. International Medical Corps recently provided Pamela with counselling and her husband with training, focusing on disease prevention. Through the training, both parents received information about child feeding and the medical services available in the camp. Pamela also attended pre-natal consultations and received vaccinations, because of the training and a mosquito net was provided to the family, which now protects them against malaria.
This kind of training provides lifelong skills and saves thousands of lives by means of prevention. Simple interventions that together have tremendous benefits. Long after the program ends, communities are left stronger and more self-reliant for generations to come.
Pamela added, just before we said our goodbyes.