Africa AHEAD (Applied Health Education and Development) in collaboration with other organizations has equipped 1 207 Community Health Club members (CHCs) in Bulawayo as part of the efforts to increase access to health and hygiene services.
The project which started last year has been implemented in Nkulumane, Nketa, Makokoba, Pelandaba, QueensPark, Waterford, CBD, and Cowdray Park.
On Tuesday, the CHCs had an exhibition in Cowdray Park, where they were showcasing some of their products such as pine gel, toilet cleaner, dishwashing liquid, cobra, petroleum gel, and even poultry projects.
In an interview with CITE, Africa Ahead Bulawayo Programs manager, Sphiwe Mpofu said they embarked on training CHWs as they believe that health can be achieved through community Health clubs.
“The organisation equipped 40 Community Health Workers so that after the training they can form Community Health Clubs because we believe health, development, and sustainability can be achieved through Community Health Clubs,” said Mpofu.
She said after teaching the CHWs on health and hygiene they went further and assisted them to start income-generating projects.
“When we taught them about health and hygiene we went further and assisted them to start income-generating projects for an improved livelihood because most of our members survive on vending so we had to teach them a skill to put food on the table.”
“Our vision is for them to be independent and eradicate poverty in their households. We believe that the trained members will attract more community members to be part of the health clubs and learn about health to reduce diseases and be able to bring food in their households,” said Mpofu.
Africa Ahead Executive Director, Regis Matimati said the organization pushes health and hygiene issues with the understanding that when health and hygiene are in order the rest of the development pieces come into place.
“The community health workers completed the syllabus and we moved on to income generation projects because we appreciate that once the income is generated they then can plough it back into the buying consumables for health and hygiene improvement in the home,” said Matimati.
He added, “When all this is done we are going to get to a phase of community social responsibility where these groups are then encouraged to take increasing responsibility in community welfare.
In addition, Environmental Management Agency (EMA), Sthembisiwe Ndlovu said they are encouraging CHWs to do recycling projects.
“We are looking at having a circular economy so that all the garbage cannot be just taken to the landfills. Some of CHWs are recycling plastics and some of them are waste pickers and selling to recyclers, so that eradicates garbage in the environment,” she said.
Simunye Community Health club representative, Rosa Chidovori said the clubs are helping them as women to be independent and empowered.