Chongoni Open Day

CHAGS, Women Volunteer groups & HSAs Coordinate Open Day

As one way of enhancing A+MNH community mobilization and sensitizations, open days are conducted in the communities to increase awareness and demand for MNH and sexual reproductive health rights and services (SRHRS). MaiKhanda Trust organized an Open day which took place on 3rd December 2021 at Chongoni- Mpalula GVH ground in Dedza district. The Open day carried the theme of promoting early ANC attendance, awaiting of labour at hospital and giving birth whilst supported by skillful birth attendants “Kulimbikisa Amai kukayamba Sikelo akangozindikira kuti ayima, Kudikilira ndi kuchilira ku chipatala”. The event attracted the audience of more than 2000 people that comprised of males and females of within all age groups

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The event was patronized by Chiefs, District council representative, MaiKhanda team, Counselor, DHMT members and a team of health workers from Chongoni health center. Community members comprised of adults, adolescents and children. The event was graced by many activities such as traditional dances gule wamkulu, poems, choirs, women and adolescent girl champions bringing motivation speech to the audience and many others. The guest of honor and entire delegation at the event were taken through different pavilions that were prepared for sharing MNH, CBMNC and SRHRS information.   District Hospital community nurses and midwives shared information and processes that are taken when pregnant woman goes to access ANC services and Family planning services. The providers of these services narrated the contraceptives available and how they work, how the pregnant woman is managed at ANC clinic and other additional services acquired there such as; PMTCT, STIs screening and Antimalarial Prophylaxis.  CBMNC providers (HSAs) also shared to the group the purpose of the programme, how the programme is run in the communities.

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On this event, service providers also utilized this as an opportunity of bringing various health services closer to community members.  Some of the health services rendered on the day were HIV counselling and testing (HCT), a total of 15 people utilized the service, more than 50 women got contraceptives (pills and Depo provera) and more than 1000 condoms were distributed to young and adult men for their protection. Knowing that we are being burdened with COVID 19 pandemic,  the COVID 19 vaccine (Johnson Johnson)  was also available at the site and at least 92 people had received the vaccine.

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Various speeches that were delivered at the event were all targeting different categories of audiences that were present. Community members were encouraged to accept and take active roles on safe motherhood initiatives that are being implemented in the communities, avoid vandalism of health care structures and ensuring that every community member is able to enjoy his or her health rights through accessing health services delivered at the nearest health facility and those that are reaching them right away on their door steps. Community members were encouraged to continue working harder and volunteering in safe motherhood activities that are taking place in their communities. MNH and YFHS messages that were shared must be considered and utilized in a positive manner and shared beyond in order to reduce the existing knowledge gap on MNH and YFHS.

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The Open day was a success, it was well organized, there was great coordination and achieved great turn up of community members of targeted groups. The district council and DHMT representatives commended MaiKhanda Trust for the technical and resource support towards MNH, CBMNC and YFHS programmes in the district. They acknowledged that Ministry of Health need partners support to achieve the best from programmes it is implementing in all districts in the country.  MaiKhanda was further encouraged to scale out similar support to other health centers  in the districts with similar  messages through open days because it is one way of mass sensitization and building capacity to rural communities on issues regard MNH and YFHS.