Bicycles making health care services accessible
The South Sudan programme of Action Africa Help International (AAH-I) in collaboration with the State and National Ministry of Health had distributed 51 bicycles to trained Boma Health Teams in Maridi and Ibba Counties in Maridi State. The colourful event took place on 23 November 2018 and was graced by Boma chiefs, Payam administrators and Government officials. Owing to poor road conditions, some communities in Maridi State receive health services as infrequent as immunization only done once every six months. The bicycles are expected to contribute to better health outcomes by facilitating and easing the movement of Boma Health Teams to reach inaccessible areas where motorcycles and vehicles cannot penetrate, and improve door-door supervision of the health status of communities in cases of referrals and disease management and treatment in the Bomas.
The bicycles were procured by the national Ministry of Health under the Boma Health Initiative and handed over to AAH South Sudan, the lead implementing partner in the Boma Health Initiative in 47 Bomas under the Regional Primary Health Care project in Amadi, Yei River and Maridi States of the Greater Equatoria Region. 47 Payam health committees (PHCs) were formed in 7 Payams, with one health officer in each Payam. (A Boma is the lowest administrative structure of the Government of the Republic of South Sudan. It is headed by a Chief who over sees all governmental and non-governmental activities in the Boma. A Payam is the second lowest administrative structure in this system).
The Boma Health Teams who received the bicycles have been trained by AAH South Sudan on how to conduct health promotions and disease prevention and treatment of select diseases in the community. “Take care of these bicycles as though they were your own and you will be helping communities that need us most. AAH-I will continue to support the National and State Ministry of Health and the County Health Department, and the local communities in bridging the existing gap existing in health service delivery, capacity building and offering health services to needy and vulnerable communities in these States.”
The State Minister of Health in Maridi Hon. Ozia Dima congratulated AAH South Sudan for their tireless efforts and hard work in ensuring communities living in distance places with poor road network have access to health services. “Without AAH-I the Boma Health Initiative wouldn’t have achieved the successes we see to date. AAH-I is a long serving NGO that has supported communities in South Sudan as far back as during the liberation struggle in harsh humanitarian conditions.” The Director General from Maridi State Ministry of Health Alfonse Lohyire urged the Boma Chiefs to be primary supervisors for Boma Health Team, responsible for monitoring the use and movement of the bicycles to ensure that they are used only for the work that is intended – community health services.
78 Boma Health Teams from Yei River, Amadi and Maridi States are yet to receive bicycles under this initiative.