USAID and MOHS Visit the Fullah Town Community Health Post in Bombali District
On Friday August 9, 2016 representatives from the Ministry of Health and Sanitation (MOHS) and USAID visited the newly rehabilitated Fullah Town community health post (CHP) in the Makari Gbanti Chiefdom, Bombali district. The aim of the visit was to review the health post’s progress and observe first hand changes in facility service delivery and use.
The Fullah Town CHP is one of 78 health posts currently being supported in Bombali district by the USAID-funded Advancing Partners & Communities project. In order to improve standards for quality of care, in line with the recently approved infection, prevention and control (IPC) and water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) guidelines, twenty health posts will receive substantial rehabilitation work, along with a set of capacity building and community engagement activities, and medical equipment. The project activities are implemented through a partnership between the Bombali District Health Management Team (DHMT), GOAL and JSI Research & Training Institute, Inc.
The Fullah Town CHP serves eleven catchment communities with a total population of 2,973. The facility was in a very poor condition before and during Ebola and no rehabilitation efforts had been undertaken in the past five years. The health post lacked electricity, WASH and IPC facilities, and proper waste deposits. With USAID resources, the project has made significant improvements in WASH and IPC standards including: upgrading the unprotected hand dug well; extending the delivery room; building four covered waste pits; and making improvements to the existing incinerator. Other upgrades to infrastructure include: strengthening the roof with stronger, corrugated iron sheets; replacing the ceiling, walls, and floors; constructing a soak away pit; and providing solar lighting, new glass windows and steel doors.
The project has provided reproductive, maternal, newborn, and child health and IPC trainings to the health workers at the facility. To ensure effective community involvement during the renovation period, a facility management committee (FMC) was also formed. Monthly FMC meetings will be held to plan out activities regarding the facility maintenance plan and improvement action plans.
During the visit, the team was met with a festive response from the community. A member of the FMC expressed that the community is proud of the health care they are able to access and feels a sense of ownership in the renovation of the facility, as members helped complete the fencing, clean the facility, and dig pits for waste management.
The Fullah Town CHP’s rehabilitation is a significant step toward improving access to and quality of basic, primary community services. The number of service deliveries has risen from an average of seven per month before the project began to an average of 11 per month after WASH and IPC, capacity building and community engagement interventions.