AU provides $400,000 for health system strengthening in five member states  

The African Union (AU) has provided $400,000 for the strengthening of health systems in five member states under a project named, “Project Bijimin”.

The project, which will be carried out in Burundi, Central Africa Republic (CAR), Chad, Lesotho, and South Sudan, is expected to scale up the numbers of Community Health Workers (CHW), ensure that they are better renumerated, trained, and skilled to efficiently discharge their functions.

It will be implemented by the African Union Development Agency (AUDA) for two years after, which it will be scaled up to other member states.

Dr Janet Byaruhanga, Head of Health Unit, AUDA, who was speaking at a knowledge sharing session in Accra to kick start the project in the selected countries on Tuesday, said, “Project ‘Bijimin’ is a Hausa word which means Bull”.

“Bijimin was chosen to represent the formation of a strong, resilient and unwavering healthcare system in the five countries,” she said.

Dr Byaruhanga said the countries were selected because they had a unique healthcare system, which was mainly weak, and that the project would improve community health workforce in the countries to deliver better healthcare to the people.

Project Bijimin will champion the promotion of exercise, palliative care, maternal, child and men’s health, adolescent health, the use of first aid, communicable and non-communicable diseases by CHW in communities.

She said Project Bijimin would provide community education on the diseases and other health issues that affected them, as well as prioritise the training and upscaling the knowledge of the health workers.

“We intend to at the end of the project see the provision of better renumeration for community health workers, improved knowledge, attitudes, and practices of beneficiary communities towards health issues,” she said.

Dr Byaruhanga said the project would encourage countries to invest in community health care workers for sustainability purposes.

She explained that the programme was organised in Ghana to enable the selected AU countries to learn from best healthcare practices and strategies in Ghana to strengthen theirs.

Dr Byaruhanga stressed the need for countries to invest in primary health care, saying, “Primary health care when done well, promotes overall health and wellbeing at all levels”.

Source: GNA

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