How long does the Health Desk exists now?
In 1967 Health Desk started.
Activities of the Health Desk:
The Health Desk got different kinds of activities and projects. An example of a project is Home Based Care. The aims of the home-based care activities are to continually provide care to clients that are not hospitalized. There is a high number of people needing hospital care because of the different diseased including AIDS. There are now drugs available to people living with HIV/AIDS, people can easily take their medication from home but sometimes need some help. There is where the caregivers come in. They ensure that these clients take their medication at the right time and in the right quantities. At this moment the Diocese of Chipata has more than 73000 Home Based Care clients.
The caregivers undergo different trainings in order to equip them with the necessary skill and knowledge to reach out to the clients. Trainings range from psychosocial trainings, basic care and support trainings, HIV testing, basic palliative care training. The caregivers are given bicycles and care giver’s kits to help them with them movements and provide basic care and support to their clients.
In the Eastern Province of Chipata there are over one million children under the age of five years and 10% of women of the reproductive age who are malnourished. That is why Health Desk wants to lower that level a lot. They are doing that with the following activities:
- Increasing community awareness and involvement in fighting malnutrition through community campaigns.
- Increasing cooking demonstrations on how to prepare nutritious foods from locally produced foods in order to improve dietary intake.
- Improving water supply, water treatment and sanitation at both community and household levels.
- Improving maternal and Child care Practices among women.
- Improving the referral systems between health centres and communities.
- Reducing the effects of HIV/AIDS on the nutrition status of children and mothers who are living with HIV/AIDS.
- Increasing food production at household level.
- Advocating for antenatal and postnatal services to all women of reproductive age.
- Advocating for exclusive breastfeeding for the first 6 months to all women and men of reproductive age.
How many people are working for the Health Desk?
There are working a lot of people for the Health Desk. At first you have more than 7000 trained community volunteers who move from one door to the other, to fulfill the different kinds of projects for the Diocese of Chipata. The main project where the caregivers are working on is to improve the malnutrition in Chipata. There are different out stations or zones under each parish of the Diocese of Chipata.
Each outstation or zone has his own leader who supervises over the activities by the other caregivers in that zone.
The caregivers are trained in all relevant topics and courses in order for them to reach out to their communities. They are attached to health centers so that they become part of the health system in their communities. In total the caregivers have so far reached 2300 children with nutrition services.