First Step Action for Children Initiative Advocates for more Health workers at Sankom Health Clinic
In Q1, First Step Action for Children Initiative implemented the CLM project at
Sankom Community, Gamu ward, Ganye LGA, Adamawa State. During their entry
FGD, it was discovered that Sankom Health Clinic was in dire need of a female HW;
the HF had only one health provider – a male. The former Facility Manager had been
a female but she had been transferred out of this HF since September 2020. This
had been a major concern to the community leaders and members as the lack of a
female health worker at the facility discouraged pregnant women and lactating
mothers from accessing malaria and other services there. As a result, the HF
suffered low patronage from women in this community.
The above issue was considered serious by the CAT members, the community
members and even the facility’s staff because most women in this community
found it very difficult to share the details of their health challenges with a male HW;
the issue had led to increased patronage of the services of TBAs within the
community; and some of the pregnant women preferred to travel 60km from
Sankom to Gamu PHC for delivery.
In order to find a remedy to this, the CAT members visited the Ward Coordinator
Yitsatso A. Mapindi who is also the Health Coordinator of Gamu Ward. During this
visit, they all sought for possible solutions to the manpower challenge at Sankom
PHC. As a result of the visit, Mr Yitsatsor assigned a female HW from Gamu PHC to
be visiting Sankom PHC every ANC and immunization day. He also began to work
out the modality to recommend community based TBAs to support in providing
health services especially during child delivery at night.
The above identified issue was resolved within two weeks and has brought the
following changes to the community:
- Increased attendance of patients during the female health worker’s first visit
to Sankom on ANC and immunization from two (2) to over 20 during the next
- Increased activeness and promptness of the Facility Manager and other
workers to duty.
- Increased accessibility of the free malaria commodities by community
- Traditional Birth Attendance (TBAs) are beginning to refer pregnant women
to the health facility.
- The women now find it comfortable to discuss their health challenges
because of the presence of female health workers at the facility.
Global Health and Social Awareness Foundation achieved some successes at the HF
in Ayumi Community, Nduku Ward, Mubi South LGA. On the CAT’s arrival to the
community, it was discovered that the HF had been locked up and not functioning
for over 10 years. The facility’s staff were contacted and called upon to come open
it for the CAT members, which they did. At this point, everywhere in the HF was
found to be extremely dirty. Some of the GF malaria commodities in the facility
(consumable and non-consumable) had even gotten expired.
The CAT considered this to be a serious issue because the facility was made to cater
to the community members’ health needs whenever they need medical care. The
HF was also there to ensure that the community members access medical care
without travelling far. One other implication of the HF being locked up is that all the
free GF Malaria commodities will not get to the community members, thereby
defeating the purpose of the GF Malaria grant.
In their search for a solution to this issue, the CAT members had a discussion with
the Facility Manager in charge of the HF to know the reasons why the facility was
not functioning. They discovered that there was a conflict between him and the
Village Head who is the Ardo of the community. They then promised to get back to
the Facility Manager after a visit to the Village Head to hear his own version of what
was happening to the facility in his community.
After listening to both sides, the CAT discovered that both parties were jointly
responsible for the non-functional state of the facility. To resolve the conflict
between the two parties they decided to organize a community dialogue. They
explained to the Facility Manager that the team was there to see the facility return
to its normal functional state but he (the Facility Manager/OIC) needed to apologize
to the Village Head so that peace would be restored. Subsequently, the OIC and the
CAT members paid a visit to the Village Head at his residence. The Village Head
welcomed them knowing the purpose of the visit and went straight to the point.
The team explained that they were not there to shift blame or know who is at fault;
rather their goal was to find a way forward to see how all parties could work
together to revive the facility from its present state. They also helped both parties
to understand how their actions had deprived the community members from
assessing their rights. The village head accepted his mistake, said he was at fault for
what had happened in his community, and pledged to rectify the problem so that
things would go back to normal. The OIC also apologized to the Village Head. He
then promised to start opening the facility to help attract patronage from the
GHASAF team informed both parties to work together as one and form a village
development team of 11 members from the community including the Village Head
and the OIC. The Village Head then promised that all the facility doors that were
been broken would be repaired immediately.
At the end the OIC expressed appreciation forthe intervention, stating that the CAT
members were like angels because he had been in that situation for 10 years and
now all his fears are gone.
It took the CAT 2 weeks to resolve this issue. As at the time of writing this report,
the community members are no longer travelling to other villages for their
healthcare needs; rather, they have access to this facility and are benefiting from
the GF malaria commodities.