Refresher training for community health workers in northern Mozambique

The MENTOR team in Mozambique has been delivering refresher training to health teams and technicians over the past few weeks, in partnership with the Provincial Health Directorate in Cabo Delgado Province.

The APS refresher training and the subsequent technical support they will receive is essential to improve access to quality health care for people in the community, including hard-to-reach communities such as internally displaced people (IDPs).

Training for community health workers – known as Agentes Polivalentes de Saúde (APS) in Mozambique – has specifically focused on the diagnosis, treatment and referral of malaria, diarrheal diseases and acute respiratory infections, including the integrated management of childhood illnesses.

So far, nearly 200 APSs from eight districts have completed the training. Another 117 APSs from six other districts in Cabo Delgado will take part in the training later this month.

APSs are critical to the delivery of healthcare in their communities and are typically the first point of contact able to diagnose, treat and refer serious cases. In northern Mozambique, thousands of people have been internally displaced due to armed conflict. Most live in camps and host communities that are hard to reach and lack health facilities. APSs are recruited from their community to provide health services and diagnose and treat the most common diseases such as malaria.

MENTOR and the Provincial Health Directorate also delivered training to 190 Hygiene Promoters from internally displaced person camps and host communities across six districts. This is to prepare the hygiene promoters to raise awareness of good hygiene practices in their communities, with the aim to prevent diarrhoeal diseases such as cholera.

Subjects covered included hand washing, water treatment, diarrhoea prevention, drainage of standing water, vector control at household level, cleaning and rubbish removal.

This programme is supported by funding from USAID’s Bureau for Humanitarian Assistance (BHA).