Not long ago, Therese Niyonsaba, 54, witnessed expectant mothers giving birth at home or by the roadside while thousands in her village failed to report to health centres or hospitals for treatment on time.
And, this, from time to time, she took the lives of some of her friends and neighbours. This harsh reality is one of the factors that inspired her to become a health volunteer eight years ago.
“Residents entrusted me with the duties after realising that I met all the requirements to be a health worker,” says Niyonsaba, a widow and mother of four.
Community Health Advisors like Niyonsaba teach people to sleep in Mosquito nets, sensitize them on the use of family planning and are responsible of accompanying mothers in labour for the sake of the mothers and infants lives among other responsibilities.
In Mukura sector in Rutsiro district Local Community Health Advisors are grateful of the level of understanding of the local people on their health through following up to the advice offered them.
“People understand they have to treasure their health. They heed our advice and warnings, go to the health centers when we tell them to go and they seek us out in case of any ailment. It is not like before,” said Alphonsine Nyirambonigaba one of the health advisors in Mukura sector.
This was revealed during the evaluation function of services on health offered by Local Community Health Advisors on August 25.
Community health workers (CHWs) around the country are men and women who work to improve the health outcomes and general well-being of their fellow community members.
The Community Health Advisors are trained on common ailments and provide medical advice to local people on health and guides especially expectant mothers to access antenatal services and be at health centers during delivery.
Through this Evaluation function, the community Health Advisors promised to keep working hard to fulfill their responsibilities on health and help people live to their best.
Although these Community Health Advisors say they have achieved much in creating awareness but they still stand hindrances like walking long distances and few people who do not heed their advice but they are determined to overcome them, Niyonsaba lamented