Mwandi, which means “plenty of fish,” is a small Zambian village located in the country’s Western Province. A single tarmac road runs through Mwandi Village connecting it to the roads that lead to Livingstone and Victoria Falls, about two hours away. Mwandi District is a poor area, caught between old traditions and the contemporary world. A senior chief oversees the Royal Establishment and is assisted by the Kuta, a group of individual headmen and headwomen who are very involved in the local community.
Most people live in mud huts that are scattered, often remotely, across vast rural areas. While the nearby Zambezi River is a water source for those close to the village, Mwandi is extremely dry. Shallow wells are often salty and undrinkable. The community is challenged by a lack of safe water and access to health care. Some pregnant mothers may travel as far as 60 kilometers by ox cart to reach the Mwandi Mission Hospital. The hospital is one of the only employers in the area. At CMMB, we know that healthy mothers and children can transform poor communities. So our Children and Mothers’ Partnerships program—CHAMPS—is working in this community to make the most vulnerable families healthy.
CHAMPS in Mwandi: A Closer Look at 2016
Maternal and Child Health
PROBLEM: Women and children in poor, rural communities lack access to quality healthcare
SOLUTION: In Mwandi, the Safe Motherhood project increases access to quality care. More than 100 trained members of Safe Motherhood Action Groups promote health information and facility deliveries. The Safe Motherhood team provided antenatal care, HIV testing and counseling, cervical and breast cancer screening, and pediatric care to nearly 10,000 women and children.
Supporting Community Engagement
PROBLEM: Lack of capacity to advocate for improvements to local and national healthcare systems
SOLUTION: The goal of Citizen Voice Action (CVA) training is to teach communities how to advocate for change to impact local needs. Key health personnel, CHVs, and local leaders were trained to use evaluation tools, and to lobby policy makers and service providers. CVA training is effectively promoting policies to demand health services for healthier lives.
Strengthening Local Healthcare
PROBLEM: Remote locations limit access to quality healthcare
SOLUTION: The construction of a mothers’ shelter at Situlu Rural Health Facility improved access to quality of services for women and children who may travel 40 miles to reach a hospital. Built by CMMB in partnership with the Government of Zambia, the shelter allows pregnant women to plan for a facility delivery, knowing they have a place to stay.
23,555 people supported by Mwandi Mission Hospital and its network facilities
More than ten years ago, BD partnered with CMMB to launch an innovative volunteer service trip program for its employees, to help address HIV/AIDS in Zambia. More than 10 years later, lasting improvements at Mwandi Mission Hospital are still evident, including new laboratory procedures to enhance quality control and maintenance, particularly with respect to blood samples and HIV tests. BD’s ongoing, positive impact has allowed Mwandi Mission Hospital to qualify for government support for anti-retroviral therapies (ARTs).Learn More
3,025 pregnant women and children under 5 targeted for support with critical health services
Brian is a proud husband and father. He is also the community health worker in charge of the Simogoma Rural Health Post in Mwandi which serves more than 2,700 people. Trained at the Mwandi Mission Hospital, Brian sees about 20 clients each day. He has been managing the center for more than 15 years, serving mothers, children and anyone else in this remote corner of Mwandi who needs care.Learn More
7,500 people will be supported with access to safe water through CHAMPS
Primary school teacher, Rebecca knows that access to water has a huge impact on education. Some of her students will wake up at 4:00 am in order to collect water for their families and get to school on time. Students who wake up late may stand on line for hours at pumps or shallow wells and never get to school at all. She says, “Lack of clean, safe water is negatively affecting pupil development.”Learn More
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