The use of Community Health Workers in Strengthening Public Health Interventions in Africa: GHSS’ Experience
Global Health Systems Solutions (GHSS) is a Cameroon-based international non-governmental organization created in 2007.
It has as a vison to strengthen health systems, services and networks in developing countries, and conduct operational research
to support healthcare programmes. In her strive to strengthen public health interventions across Africa, GHSS has, over the
years, used Community Health Workers (CHWs) across several disciplines. This write up is designed to share GHSS’
experience in using CHWs in strengthening public health interventions across different projects that she has implemented
Community Approaches to Improve Sexual and Reproductive Health (SRH) Needs in the Conflict Zones of the North West and South West Regions of Cameroon
Over the past 5 months, Global Health Systems Solutions (GHSS)has been working closely with the Ministry of Public Health (MOH) in improving sexual and reproductive health (SRH) in the Northwest (NW) and Southwest (SW) conflict-stricken regions of Cameroon. We are leveraging on existing resources like Extension for Community Health Outcomes (ECHO) to support ongoing interventions and alternative approaches involving the use of community health workers (CHWs), field health assistants (FHAs), and sexual and reproductive health advocates. This report aims at showcases the achievements attained so far, following ongoing interventions.
Mentorship Improves the Quality of Viral Load/Early Infant Diagnosis Results Offered by Batouri District Hospital Laboratory
On 1st December 2021, GHSS assigned a mentor to work with the laboratory staff to guide and follow up on the implementation of Quality Assurance in the laboratory with continuous onsite training. This action aimed at improving the quality of laboratory services and patient care. During the mentorship period, the mentor identified a high number of invalid results, and error codes resulting in no results after analysis at the Batouri District Hospital between Dec 2021 – April 2022. The mentor equally observed the wastage of the limited supply of cartridges due to invalid results and increased turnaround time for VL/EID results, which compromised patients’ follow-up on treatment. After a root-cause analysis, it was discovered that the Gene Expert Unit was not conducive to the analysis of results. GHSS carried out some interventions at this site that contributed to improving the VL/EID testing service and quality of results.
Mentorship Drastically Reduces Viral Load Sample Rejection at the Regional Hospital Annex Kousseri, Far North Region of Cameroon
In February 2022, GHSS assigned a mentor to work with the Regional Hospital Annex Kousseri in the Far North Region of Cameroon to guide and follow up on the implementation of laboratory Quality Assurance with continuous onsite training. This action aimed to improve the quality of laboratory services and patient care. During one of the mentorship sessions on viral load sample management in February 2022, the mentor identified a high rejection of viral load samples from the reference laboratory at Pette. GHSS conducted a root cause analysis, and carried out some interventions onsite that drastically reduced viral sample rejection.
SLMTA, Resolving VL Backlog and Boosting Viral Load Testing Amidst the COVID 19 Pandemic: The Case of the Laquintinie Virology Laboratory, Douala – Cameroon
The Laquintinie virology lab is the only viral load reference lab in the littoral region Cameroon and receives over 4000 viral load samples monthly. With a history of long Turnaround Time TAT (2 to 4 months) which is 4 to 8 times longer than that required nationally, this did not only leave the laboratory clients dissatisfied but also jeopardized the clinical relevance of the results. With the Covid-19 pandemic in Cameroon, this situation was envisaged to get worse. Global Health Systems Solutions carried out a root cause analysis to find lasting solutions. The lab staff together with the GHSS Mentor leveraged on SLMTA implementation to resolve VL sample backlog and testing issues at Laquintinie virology laboratory.
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