Connect with us!     

Mtwara Rural Invests Millions in its CCAs

Mtwara Rural invested millions of shillings to support its CCA programs.Communities throughout rural Mtwara district have a new reason to be optimistic about the future of their health, thanks to the Mtwara Rural District Council’s recent commitment of financial support for the Community Change Agent (CCA) health outreach program.

CCAs are community volunteers who have been trained in malaria, HIV and family planning outreach education. The council’s decision, which followed meetings between TCDC implementing partner MUKEMBA, the council health management team (CHMT), and the district medical office, provides TShs 6,720,000 to the program. This will double the monthly allowance for the district’s 28 ward-level CCAs for one year.

According to Mtwara Rural’s malaria focal person and CHMT member Lilian Wina, the CCA program warranted investment due to its ongoing success at the community level.

“The council decided to invest in the program because of its performance in community sensitization, advocacy and health education. It’s a bridge between the community and government.”

The impact of the program in regions where CCAs are active has been tremendous; in the first quarter of fiscal year 2015, CCAs reached hundreds of thousands of Tanzanians with small-scale interventions.

As trained behavior change facilitators who are also active members of the communities in which they serve, CCAs are uniquely qualified to tailor interactive, community-specific interventions that empower those most affected by today’s health issues. Ms. Wina believes this element is critical for success.

“CCAs have a close relationship with their communities. I hope those communities continue to recognize the importance of their CCAs, and that the program is their own - the CCAs come from among them.”

Steven Tibaigana, TCDC’s Mtwara manager, believes Mtwara Rural District’s commitment is a promising step for program sustainability.

“To get to this stage is a major achievement [for the CCA program]. Investment from the district council increases project oversight and helps cement local ownership. We hope our system of cooperation serves as a model for organizations in other districts.”

The CCA program is a key component of the USAID-funded Tanzania Capacity and Communication Project, led by Johns Hopkins Center for Communication Programs in collaboration with TCDC.

There are currently more than 800 ward-level CCAs serving in six regions throughout Tanzania, a number expected to double once TCDC completes training new CCAs in nine new regions by the end of October. These trainings will also coincide with an expansion of the program’s scope of work, introducing materials to allow CCAs to focus on other health priorities such as tuberculosis and safe motherhood.

Multimedia Corner

Receive News updates from TCDC