Abuja, 08 March 2018 - “My five-year-old son started vomiting one the morning and I noticed that his temperature was high. With no money to transport my child to a health facility, I was helpless and ran to my neighbor who immediately called Mrs Ogbajie Precious”.
“Mrs Precious immediately took my child, assessed his condition and assured me that the case was manageable. I have never been happier in my entire life”.
Mrs Ogbajie is a 36 year old married farmer from Umuokpara Achara ward-Apkoro Umunneochi LGA of Abia State who trained as one of the Community Resource Persons (CORPs) implementing the Rapid Access Expansion (RAcE) programme in her hard-to-reach community. She is equipped with adequate commodities (malaria diagnostic kit, respiratory timer, anti-malarial, oral rehydration therapy, antibiotics among others) to provide simple diagnostic and appropriate treatment to sick under-five children. She is supervised monthly to ensure quality of care provided to her community.
The RAcE programme was catalytic in introducing integrated Community Case Management of childhood illness (iCCM) into Nigeria in 2013. The goal is to increase coverage of diagnostic, treatment, and referral services for three major causes of childhood mortality (malaria, pneumonia and diarrhea) and therefore, contributing to the reduction of under-five mortality in Nigeria. RAcE is currently being implemented in 15 LGAs in Abia state and 6 LGAs in Niger state.
The main objective of the programme is to catalyze the scale-up of community case management of malaria, pneumonia and diarrhea as an integral part of government-provided health services in sub-Saharan Africa, as well as to stimulate policy review and regulatory update on disease case management in the country
Dr Joy Ufere of WHO Nigeria said “Women such as Mrs Ogbaije treat an average of three sick children daily by covering a target population of 125 under-five children”.
She further explained that women are empowered through the RAcE programme as they are seen as change agents for promoting health and voice to the female gender.
“Such women support other women in the community in seeking prompt appropriate health care when needed. For her commitment and resilience in improving health status of her community, we recognize her on this special International Women’s Day”, Dr Ufere explained.
The World Health Organization, with the support of the Global Affairs Canada (GAC), launched RAcE programme 2015, in Nigeria to support case management of episodes of diarrhoea, pneumonia and malaria in children aged 2-59 months at the community level.
Dr. Joy Ufere; Tel: +234 803 979 5143; Email: uferej [at] who.int.