BMC Public Health: Perceptions of local stakeholders towards using mobile phone by village health volunteers in DR Congo

30 April, 2019

Neil thank you for sharing this study. It is impressive to read the perception of community population to care of mothers and under-five children in DR Congo. Especially as we have been reading about the on-going Ebola epidemic and the 'lack of awareness of the population including opinion leaders in the country'. We read through the full study report and came to the section that talks about the role of VHW (Voluntary Health Workers, namely that 'These VHVs are volunteers who conduct head-counts and regularly update vital statistics; control usage of insecticide-impregnated bed nets and manage cases of fever (malaria) with ACTs; assess respiratory infections through respiratory rate timers; administer amoxicillin; distribute and replenish family kits of Oral rehydration serum, zinc, and sprinkles; and promote key family practices for children under 5 years of age. Currently, the VHVs haphazardly provide reports to the local health center (HC) nurses on the consumption of commodities and number of households visited. These reports are either verbal or written on piece of paper. These VHVs are volunteers who conduct head-counts and regularly update vital statistics; control usage of insecticide-impregnated bed nets and manage cases of fever (malaria) with ACTs; assess respiratory infections through respiratory rate timers; administer amoxicillin; distribute and replenish family kits of Oral rehydration serum, zinc, and sprinkles; and promote key family practices for children under 5 years of age.'. 

It appears that this cadre of health workers, the VHW in DRCongo could be very useful in filling the gap of the information gap about Ebola and other interventions like immunisation in that country.Would be nice to know if policy makers plan to use VHW in their broad strategy to fill the gap and eliminate the attacks that have been vented on Ebola Treatment centres and the staff. The VHW seem to us a useful resource to tap into.

Joseph Ana. 

Africa Centre for Clinical Governance Research and Patient Safety

@HealthResources International (HRI) WA.

National Implementing Organisation: 12-Pillar Clinical Governance

National Implementing Organisation: PACKNigeria Programme for PHC

Tel: +234 (0) 8063600642

Website: www.hriwestafrica.com

Email: jneana@yahoo.co.uk; hriwestafrica@gmail.com

HIFA profile: Joseph Ana is the Lead Consultant and Trainer at the Africa Centre for Clinical Governance Research and Patient Safety in Calabar, Nigeria. In 2015 he won the NMA Award of Excellence for establishing 12-Pillar Clinical Governance, Quality and Safety initiative in Nigeria. He has been the pioneer Chairman of the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) National Committee on Clinical Governance and Research since 2012. He is also Chairman of the Quality & Performance subcommittee of the Technical Working Group for the implementation of the Nigeria Health Act. He is a pioneer Trustee-Director of the NMF (Nigerian Medical Forum) which took the BMJ to West Africa in 1995. He is particularly interested in strengthening health systems for quality and safety in LMICs. He has written Five books on the 12-Pillar Clinical Governance for LMICs, including a TOOLS for Implementation. He established the Department of Clinical Governance, Servicom & e-health in the Cross River State Ministry of Health, Nigeria in 2007. Website: www.hriwestafrica.com Joseph is a member of the HIFA Steering Group: http://www.hifa.org/people/steering-group

http://www.hifa.org/support/members/joseph-0

jneana AT yahoo.co.uk