Three NGOs launch child-health survival programme

NYAMAGABE - A consortium of three NGOs in the country has committed itself to mount a campaign against malaria, diarrhea, pneumonia, and nutrition diseases in the country.

NYAMAGABE - A consortium of three NGOs in the country has committed itself to mount a campaign against malaria, diarrhea, pneumonia, and nutrition diseases in the country.

The NGOs, World Relief, Concern World and International Rescue Committee last week launched the new phase of their programme named ‘Kabeho Mwana’ (life for a child) which seeks to combat child mortality by using community-based health approach.

The campaign which aims at making life saving preventive and curative services available, to every child was officially launched in Nyamagabe district before all the stakeholders.

Speaking at the occasion, World Relief Director, Phil Smith, reaffirmed their commitment to provide all children an opportunity to live.

Smith revealed that this year, 1,850 community volunteers have been mobilized and trained by Kabeho Mwana staff to carry out sensitization awareness.

“Through the care groups, the community is also being mobilized in view of behavior change. And since the inception of the program in October 2006— when the new anti-malaria drug Coartem was introduced — 65,000 children under the age of five have been treated by community health workers,” he said.

Kabeho Mwana was initially started in 2007 in its pilot phase.

The programme currently supports 4,123 community health workers to provide first line treatment for malaria, diarrhea, pneumonia, and nutrition diseases using the government’s Integrated Management of Childhood Illness (IMCI) strategy.

It reaches out to over 1.2 million people including 300,000 children in six districts of Kirehe, Ngoma, Gisagara. Nyamagabe, Nyaruguru and Nyamaseke.

The programme’s community mobilisation manager, Hélène Kabadege, said that the three killer diseases were selected because they are the leading causes of infant mortality in the country.

“Malaria for example is a killer disease mostly for young children, and it doesn’t spare their mothers either, especially when they are pregnant,” Kabadege said.

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