Idalina Rufino is a community health worker who takes care of 60 households with more than 400 people. During the past three years, a total of 50 community health workers have been trained in Caconda and Lubango in Angola.
Equipped with her bag containing her household monitoring book, pencil, communication material, thermometer, painkillers, and oral rehydration salt, Idalina Rufino begins her household visits early in the morning.
Idalina visits two households every day, raising awareness on issues like sanitation, clean drinking water, family planning and birth registration, HIV/AIDS testing, as well as tracking the children’s immunization programme and monitoring the use of insecticide-treated bed nets.
To Idalina, one of the most interesting parts of her community health work in Caconda, is the interaction with the different families. “It requires dedication and commitment, but I am very happy to see the improvements in the lives of the families that I work with,” says Idalina Rufino.
House number 775
The family in house number 775 in Caconda gets regular visits from Idalina. Julia Margarida lives there with her two grandchildren whose mother sadly passed away a few years back. Julia’s main concern is to raise her grandchildren and ensure their education and health.
To Julia, Idalina is already part of the family. “My grandchildren are no longer getting sick. The last time the children got seriously ill was in 2013. That year, they were quite often sick with malaria and sometimes with diarrhoea. The children also have birth certificates now, thanks to Idalina,” tells Julia Margarida.
A sustainable project
Since 2013, Maersk Drilling has invested USD 678.000 in the pilot project Integrated Community-based Case Management, led by UNICEF in cooperation with the Ministry of Health in Angola.
The purpose was to increase children’s access to treatment for major killer diseases such as malaria and diarrhoea, and to increase utilization of primary health services, particularly for vulnerable households in rural and hard-to-reach areas.
The project aimed at reaching 8.800 children under the age of five in Caconda and Lubango, Angola. A total of 50 community health workers have been trained and are now fully implemented, each responsible for visiting 60 families on a regular basis.
Three years on, and we have succeeded with the Integrated Community-based Case Management pilot project. UNICEF and the Ministry of Health in Angola are working on a sustainable scale-up strategy, that will move the project forward and reach even more children in Angola with lifesaving health care, concludes Steen M. Andersen, Executive Director, UNICEF Denmark.
Progress in 2015
In the final year of the Integrated Community-based Case Management project, the 50 community health workers in Caconda and Lubango were busy.
Results accomplished in Caconda
- 62% of 1,500 registered households were visited
- 364 (90%) registered pregnant women regularly attended ante-natal consultation visits and 52 (70%) child deliveries took place in health facilities
- A monthly average of 2,014 children under the age of five attended the growth monitoring programme
- For adequate sanitation, 75% of the 1,500 targeted households have and use latrines
- Out of 79 persons who were transferred from communities to health facilities, 66% were children under the age of five and the remaining were pregnant women
Results accomplished in Lubango
- 85% of 1,440 targeted families were visited by community health workers
- Out of 684 registered pregnant women, 619 (90%) attended regular ante-natal clinics and 103 (87%) of child deliveries took place in health facilities
- The community health workers delivered health education messages on different health topics in 79 sessions
- A monthly average of 1,966 children under the age of five were growth monitored by community health workers
- No maternal nor child mortality was registered