Step 1: Generally: Having people take action in supporting health issues is Sub-Saharan Africa. By getting hospitals to take action and healthcare policy makers.
Specific Organization: Lwala Community Alliance Lwala, Kenya.
Step 2: Research
Background of the Organization: From the Lwala Community Alliance website “Because of their academic promise, Milton and Fred won scholarships to Dartmouth College in the U.S. Their village sold chicken, goats, and cows to pay for airfare to the U.S. with only one request” Milton then went to medical school and wanted to give back to the community as well as fulfill their fathers dream. “Fred and Milton’s father’s dream to open the region’s first health clinic, and he was instrumental in organizing village elders and convincing them to donate land, resources, and labor to make that dream a reality. Tragically, both of their parents died of AIDS while Fred and Milton were studying in the United States”
Lwala’s Vision/Goal: “We are driven to reach more communities facing the challenges of a struggling health system by one of our core values, neighborliness.” “Over twelve years, we've built a holistic health model that is driven by the power of neighbors banding together to make change. The relationship between communities and their health care system is changing - and with it, health outcomes are improving.”
How Successful is the Organization? In 2018, “This year, we published a peer-reviewed study in a scientific journal, PLOS One, that shows a significant decrease in child death in Lwala communities. This next year, we will continue to expand our direct reach to a population of 90,000. And we'll remain at the forefront of policy change with the Ministry of Health, to secure health care for all.”
The Lwala Community Alliance are transforming traditional birth attendants into professional community health workers. Traditional birth attendants where part of the healthcare system delivering medical assistance to neighbors. However have been cut off from formal health systems. This causing health concerns for pregnant mothers. Now they want to bring that back into the community.
They start having communities advocate to start their own health initiatives like sanitation, health, and infrastructure. They also train people from the community to take part in the governance committees of public health centers. Also to teach them how to hold the health system accountable
Recruit, train, and pay community members help traditional birth attendance to provide high-quality health services. Attendees provide family health services and also give clients connections.
Through the Lwala community Alliance’s mobile data collector will give the team and government policy makers accurate data to make informative decisions based on evidence provided.
Provide training and support to government health facilities. The support based off of six building blocks that was from the World Health Organization. The six building blocks that consist of service delivery, health workforce, information systems, supply chain, finance, and governance
Step 3: Analysis What I love/strengths:
I love how the organization values participation within the community by training and allowing people from the community to work as an attendant
I love how they encourage advocacy within each village so they can feel like they are being heard and be apart of the whole process.
Traditional birth attendants is something they value bringing back into the community
Making evidence based decisions based from the data the Organization has been collecting
Partnering with other government facilities and organizations to further the healthcare field and communities
I wonder if there is a range certain communities have to be between in order to get that extra assistance. Do villages need to have a certain mortality rate and income per household to qualify?
A possible limitation is stating how they approach sanitation in the health clinic and what certain illnesses attendants can treat and ones where they would have to send them to the hospital
How I will apply my proposal:
Somehow get the community in the U.S. Involved with these organizations-- Writing to local hospitals to possibly donate certain medical supplies that some places don’t have access to.
The Lwala Community Alliance supports evidence based decisions-- Writing to healthcare policy makers and back up my claims for need of assistance based on the data.
A big approach could be to get a group of people to travel to Africa and teach this system to communities and help the Lwala Community Alliance