HealthED Connect Programs
Where We Operate
- 43% of adults in Nepal are illiterate
- 161 (per 1000) DRC children die before age 5
- Life expectancy in Zambia is 42
- 1,200,000 people in Zambia have AIDS
- 900,000 Zambian children are orphans
HealthEd Connect is currently operating in 4 countries: Zambia, Malawi, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and Nepal.
The real heroes in each country are the community health workers (CHW). These are village women who typically:
- Get up at 4:30 in the morning to walk by moonlight to carry water from the river or well.
- Gather and carry large bundles of firewood on their heads.
- Pound or grind casava or cornmeal for the family’s staple food.
- Cook one-pot meals over an outdoor smoky fire.
- Spend hours each day planting and hoeing in the fields.
- Wash their clothes in the river and lay them on the banks to dry.
- These same women serve also as volunteers who walk long distances – some as far as 20-30 kilometers – to bring health education to remote villages. All with a baby frequently strapped to their backs.
Last year our health workers saw over 32,000 babies and pregnant women. They weighed the babies, monitored their growth, and taught mothers how to prepare life-saving oral rehydration solution (ORS) from sugar/salt/water. Approximately 8,000 babies around the world die everyday from diarrhea. The health workers are saving many of those little lives by teaching the mothers how to prepare ORS. Some have also been trained as traditional birth attendants (TBA’s) and are providing clean, safe deliveries for the first time in many villages.
Our work in the suburbs pursues the same mission as our work in the villages: empowering women and children through health and education programs. Some measure of health services, however, tends to be available through government programs in more populous areas whereas little or no services are available in the villages. In the suburbs the health workers serve more as a link or connector between the local people and the needed services than as a primary health care provider per se. In Zambia, for instance, education has been identified by grandmother care-givers as the most urgent need. Subsequently, local leaders have established community schools with mentoring and encouragement and support from HealthEd Connect. One of the emerging roles of health workers in the suburbs has been to provide home-based care for the desperately ill and dying, many of whom have AIDS. While visiting in these homes, school-aged children not attending school are identified and enrolled in the community schools.
Community health workers (called Kafwa in Zambia) conduct weekly baby monitoring sessions and mother-education classes in local communities. They also provide home based care for AIDS patients. In 2009, they worked jointly with community members to establish two community schools for orphans and vulnerable children. The schools are organized and run by the local community and are housed free of charge in Community of Christ churches. The community leaders donate their time to the two schools which were organized in 2009. There are currently over 350 children, ages 6-12 enrolled in the two schools. The children span a large age range but are all in the first grade since they’ve never attended school before. HealthEd Connect is working jointly with the schools to obtain funding for pencils, tablets, desks, latrines, and other supplies needed for the program.
Both schools are located in the Copperbelt Region. The Kasompe school is in the outskirts of Chingola while the Chipulukusu school is near Ndola. The school programs are organized and run by community appointed principals who work closely with a 12 member community committee. Both schools are jointly overseen by a Zambian Steering Committee composed of the two principals, a community health worker, and the regional Chief Financial Officer of Community of Christ.
The Community health workers have been integral to the establishment of the schools because they are trusted and respected by the community, are knowledgeable about the needs of the various community members, and facilitate the enrollment of children in the schools.
HealthEd Connect Statistics
Democratic Republic of the Congo
|Traditional Birth Attendants||20|