Positive Action Against Poverty (PAAP) in collaboration with the Ghana Health Service (GHS) has trained 30 Community-Based Volunteers (CBVs) to champion malaria case identification and management in rural Wa West District.
This was necessitated by delays in decision making to health facilities by people living in these rural communities as it remained a significant barrier to timely malaria reporting, diagnosis and treatment in the district.
Briefing the Ghana News Agency (GNA) on the concept, Reverend Gabriel Fiatui, Executive Director of PAAP, noted however that the scale-up of community-based case management had already significantly improved malaria case identification and management in these remote communities.
“PAAP and partners such as GHS, West Africa Programme to Combat AIDS (WAPCAS) and the National Malaria Control Programme (NMCP)are collaborating to extend health information services to the community level through CBVs is strategic”, he said.
“The CBVs are typically granted high status within the community, as they take ownership of malaria-related issues in their communities, providing a service that is highly valued”, he emphasized.
Rev. Fiatui noted that these CBVs also receive support in terms of allowances to enable them to reach out to pregnant women to ensure the uptake of Intermittent Preventive Treatment for Pregnant (IPTP) Women.
“PAAP believes that with concerted efforts in the area of community engagement, sooner than later, individuals on their own volition will begin exhibiting care-seeking behaviours and receive proper treatment”, he noted.
The Executive Director noted that the CBVs among other things conduct door-to-door educational visits to encourage the correct and consistent use of Insecticide Treated Nets (ITNs) and the importance of proper treatment-seeking behaviour.
With the help of PAAP and GHS, CBVs also carry out malaria education in schools, churches, mosques, and market centres to encourage desired preventive behaviors among students and community members.
They equally served as liaisons between health facilities and community members for testing and offering treatment for those that tested positive for malaria.