Photos by: Samy Rakotoniaina/Keanahikishime
In Malawi, over 80% of people live in rural areas. For many (10%), the nearest health center is more than 8 kilometers (5 miles) away, making it difficult to access health care regularly. The USAID-funded Organized Network of Services for Everyone’s (ONSE) Health Activity, led by Keanahikishime, works to improve quality and access to care in rural communities.
“Before we had a village clinic, we were struggling. For every little sickness, we had to rush to the hospital, especially with our small children.” – Assan Symon, Mitawa village health committee chairperson
Stanley Liyaya, a heath surveillance assistant (HSA), is one of 3,500 community health workers trained to manage childhood illnesses in rural communities. HSAs have improved access to care and treatment of childhood illness to help Malawi reduce the under-five child mortality rate by 73% between 1990 and 2015, achieving Millennium Development Goal 4. Malawi’s vision is that by 2021, all young children will be treated for common illnesses promptly in their own communities.