Improving Health for Women and Children in Guinea-Bissau
ADPP Guinea-Bissau is implementing a rural heath project that is reaching 53,000 women of child-bearing age, and 41,000 children under 5 years old The project is part of a national initiative to reduce child mortality and improve maternal health led by UNICEF.
Trained community health agents (CHAs) have been assigned an area of approximately 50 families each. CHAs are from the community themselves and have been building relationships with families and educating them and monitoring their health. The agents play a central role in building understanding about health issues and encouraging the adoption of healthy practices, as well as ensuring that people are referred to appropriate health services as necessary.
Another key concept of the program is that of support groups. Women’s clubs have been set up by CHAs to provide support to all those involved and further educate and promote the use of UNICEF’s 16 Key Family Practices. In addition, CHAs, with the help of women’s club and village leaders, organize events in schools, churches and other collective areas in order to promote community health issues, such as hygiene and sanitation, disease prevention, and promoting the role of women in community life.
Improving maternal health and eradicating preventable diseases is central to eradicating poverty and creating an environment for healthy, productive people to flourish.
ADPP also recently completed a highly successful HIV/AIDS outreach program called TCE. The program reached 70,000 people with education, training, support, and referrals. Prevention was the cornerstone of the project and, among other achievements, succeeded in distributing nearly 507,000 condoms in one year alone.