European Union External Action

EU-funded pilot project to address health and social risk in communities comes to an end: Showcase model of community ownership

Lautoka, Fiji , 27/04/2018 - 13:41, UNIQUE ID: 180501_1
Press releases

A pilot project funded by the European Union (EU) conducted in 30 rural and marginalised communities in Ba Province where community structures and their leadership were trained to fight against health and social risk factors that impede wellness, comes to a conclusion on April 30 after over two years of successful implementation by Viseisei Sai Health Centre and Empower Pacific.

The European Union-funded project, “Collective Community Ownership of Health and Social Issues,”  (CCHOSI), will recognise the achievements and highlights of the pilot project where community members in some of the most disadvantaged communities in Ba, reached out to thousands of individuals in combating health and social ills.

From left: EU Team Leader Natural Resources and Governance, Ms Ingrid Swinnen and the Medical Director of Viseisei Sai Health Centre, Dr Swaran Naidu (Photo supplied by: Viseisei Sai Health Centre)

These members were selected as Community Health Workers (CHWs) and were trained by the CCHOSI project and helped facilitate the empowerment and revitalisation of community health committees.

The CCHOSI project successfully worked with stakeholders to improve the capacity of the communities to take ownership of health and social issues by using an engaging model of networks, engagement and capacity-building, where they trained members of the community to become Community Health Workers and revitalised health committees - and where they all in turn worked with a multitude of partners from the ministries of health, youth and sports, women, children and poverty alleviation, and a number of statutory organisations.

The project team reached out to over 8000 individuals with health promotion activities whilst the Community Health Workers collectively undertook 2021 health and social issue sessions in their community development projects with a total reach of 27285 participants

The community health workers were recognised as champions for inter sectoral engagement, while the 30 Community Health Committees (CHW) and their community leaders ensured they all took ownership of their community issues. Lifestyle risk factors impeding wellness in the community were tackled collectively with the community and its various government and non-government stakeholders.

The EU Team Leader Natural Resources and Governance, Ms Ingrid Swinnen said:

"The EU recognises that Health is central to people’s lives and is a key element of equitable and sustainable growth and development, including poverty eradication.”

The Medical Director of Viseisei Sai Health Centre, Dr Swaran Naidu said that the communities in Fiji face many challenges which impact on their wellness and ability to enjoy a fulfilling life.

“The Fiji Ministry of Health reports high Non Communicable Diseases (NCD) rates leading to premature deaths and debilitating illness, causing loss of income; as well as high unplanned pregnancy and teen pregnancy rates, sexually transmitted infections and cervical cancer. Social issues such as domestic violence and child abuse lead to adverse effects on children, women and families, ” said Dr Naidu.

The “End of Project” event, that will showcase the pilot project will be held on the 26th of April 2017, at the Iloilovatu House in Viseisei Village, Vuda.

The Viseisei Sai Health Centre (VSHC) and Empower Pacific implemented this pilot project in 30 communities extending from Nadi to Nadarivatu, with the communities consisting of 15 settlements and 15 villages.

Collaboration was also done with the Water Authority of Fiji, (WAF) Rural Local Authority, the Ministry of Tourism and Trade through the Co-operative Department as well as the Integrated Human Resource and Development Program.

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