In a bid to improve reproductive, maternal, newborn, child and adolescent health through increasing citizen voices in communities, Parent and Child Health Initiative (PACHI) through its Every Woman Every Child (EWEC) project organized a training in Nkhatabay for community members.
The three-day training on Bwalo concepts and strategies comprised of community members from different Village Development committees in Traditional Authorities Malengamzoma and Malanda.
The training focused on the concept of Bwalo Forum (community grouping aimed at discussing Reproductive, Maternal, New born, Child and Adolescent Health (RMNCAH) issues, accountability, transparency, participation and other topics.
According to PACHI Technical Programme Consultant, Gladson Monjeza; the intention of the initiative is to ensure the citizen voice is increased in as far as Reproductive, Maternal, New born, Child and Adolescent Health is concerned and how the citizens should make decisions and engage the duty bearers in the improvement of RMNCAH in their respective communities.
He said that the training will therefore enhance the capacity of the community members in advocating for positive change in RMNCAH issues.
PACHI Technical Programme Consultant, Gladson Monjeza
In his speech, TA Malanda hailed PACHI for introducing the programme, “This training act as an eye opener to the community members as we have been empowered to hold duty bearers to account”.
He explained further that through the Bwalo forums community members will be able to deliberate issues, engage the duty bearers and advocate for the RMNCAH issues; thereby making positive changes in the delivery of RMNCAH. “I am so optimistic that through these community Bwalos, the groups trained will make a difference for our women and children” he said.
In emphasizing that community engagement is key to effective health care delivery, one community member Sinikiziwe Kamanga said community bwalos will act as a backbone of change. “PACHI has equipped us with skills on how we can use evidence to influence change in our respective communities as this this type of training is unique in its kind simply because we have acquired skills that will provide an opportunity for us to discuss our own health issues and come up with collective decisions, be able to engage the duty bearers and also advocate for the issues identified”, said Sinikiziwe Nyirenda.
Participating community members are expected to use the knowledge gained at the workshop to advocate for better reproductive, maternal, neonatal, child and adolescent health services in their respective communities.
Community Bwalo forum, an initiative by PACHI, within the RMNCAH social accountability for Every Woman Every Child project (EWEC) aims at improving maternal and child health care through increasing the Citizen Voices.