KAMONYI — Once staunchly traditional rural healers have begun joining community health centres in an effort to coordinate services in the province.
Athansia Nyirasafari, president of local & traditional healers said recently during an evaluation of community efforts run by Intrahealth /Twubakane that they were ready to transform medical access among Cyeru residents.
Cyeru, historically known for having many traditional health providers, has for years been an impediment to the increase of numbers of residents accessing proper medical services.
“The establishment of quality-assurance partnership (PAQ) committees in the area has helped to bring together the efforts of traditional doctors in working with health centres to sensitize residents on proper health care,” Nyirasafari said.
Access to treatment has improved significantly according to Mutuelle de Sante, seeing registration rates raise from 38 to 70 per cent.
There has also been a change in mentality among residents who are now encouraged to go to health centres instead of seeking local healers as seen in the past.
“There has been a long history of residents seeking health services from traditional healers instead of going to health centers and this caused many health risks, deaths during pregnancies and less access to proper medical care” Nyirasafari said.
Despite the improvements in access, the centre faces problems and residents travel long distances to access family-planning services.
“There is lack of trained family-planning professionals and this has impacted on the ongoing government program of sensitizing residents,” says Eric Mugambi, center administrator.
Intrahealth/Twubakane officials lauded the residents for steps taken by traditional doctors and encouraged the committees to increase of the mobilization of residents in changing cultural mentalities.
The officials also donated solar powered free-play radios to the committees to be used in sensitizing communities and groups on government health programmes run on airwaves.