The Centre for Infectious Disease Research in Zambia (CIDRZ), with support from the United States President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), conducted a stakeholders engagement meeting in Western Province, to seek the involvement of community members in the promotion of Community Health Posts and Male Involvement in health services.
This meeting, was first of its kind in which civic and traditional leaders in the province participated in one meeting, where the Barotse Royal Establishment (BRE) was represented by local Indunas. The meeting was attended by 33 participants who actively discussed the importance of community health posts in their respective jurisdictions.
In his opening remarks, the Senanga District Health Director (DHD) Dr. Likambi Kambinda acknowledged the work that CIDRZ is doing with support from PEPFAR in supplementing government’s efforts in providing various health services in the district.
Dr. Kambinda added that the formation of community health posts, has come at the right time and would help bring health services closer to the family as much as possible, especially that some people in the district travel long distances to access healthcare services.
Participants were introduced to the concept of community health posts, a novel approach to the identification and treatment of people living with HIV.
CIDRZ Regional Community Coordinator Shuden Malambo, told participants that the concept focuses on enhancing the acceptability of HIV health services by clients, strategic location of the community posts and effective stakeholder engagement of the local community, as well as the selection of local community health workers who know the geographic and social terrain of surrounding communities.
While in Lusaka, the CIDRZ Community Posts and Men’s Clinic Coordinator, Dr. James Zulu said that CIDRZ is also rolling out the community posts concept in line with the PEPFAR/CDC special initiative strategies of bringing services closer to the community.
He said that some other new community outreach posts have been opened at Kaluwe Settlement in Chongwe District, under the Chikumbi rural health centre, Matipula Health Post Under Chongwe District Hospital, Shiyala and Chingaipe Community Posts under Chongwe Rural Health Centre (RHC), Kumba and Children’s Village Community Posts under Palabana RHC, Bagdad Outreach Community Posts under Waterfalls RHC and the community sensitization outreach which is carried out in a village under Kasenga RHC.