These deaths are largely a result of HIV/AIDS and preventable and treatable diseases such as diarrhoea, malaria, respiratory infections & malnutrition. Limpopo province is one of the most disadvantaged & under-resourced in the country with 81% of children living below the poverty line, the highest rate in South Africa. Children in Limpopo often die at home with little or no contact with the formal health service.
It is estimated that 60% of deaths of children under five can be prevented through the use of community based interventions and health services by locally trained Community Health Workers (CHWs). AMREF’s project in Limpopo aims to tackle child mortality in the Sekhukhune district of Limpopo Province, reducing the prevalence of childhood diseases amongst 14,400 children under five in the region. AMREF aims to strengthen community awareness, knowledge and skills related to childhood diseases, as well as providing communities with the on-going means to diagnose and treat them. We will do this by:
- Piloting the community based integrated treatment of childhood illnesses in 18 health clinics,
- Training community health workers and child care forums in Integrated Management of Childhood Illnesses (IMCI) – a proven successful approach to tackling various childhood illnesses
So far we have:
- Trained 79 Community health workers on IMCI with an emphasis on community health.
- Enabled local Community Organisations to provide training for provided cIMCI training to 450 Community Health Workers
- Reduced the incidence of diarrheoa from 54/1000 children to 38/1000 children
- Reduced the incidence of pneumonia from 59/1000 children to 23/1000 children