The Anglican Diocesan Development and Relief Organisation (ADDRO), in partnership with Comic Relief, a United Kingdom (UK) based funding agency, and the Ghana Health Service (GHS), has donated 344 bicycles to Community Health Volunteers (CHV) to help fight malaria in six districts in the Northern, Upper East and Upper West regions.
The donation forms part of the Community-based Malaria Control Project (CMCP) being implemented by ADDRO and is intended to assist the volunteers to move easily from home to home around their communities.
They educate residents on the effective use of bed nets, how to curtail mosquito breeding and sensitise the community members to report to health facilities promptly when sick.
During a ceremony to hand over some of the bicycles at Sakote in the Nabdam District in the Upper East Region, the Executive Director of ADDRO, Dr Jacob Ayeebo, noted that “because the volunteers are not paid, we need to find ways of motivating them. Things such as a bicycle is definitely useful for helping them to move about easily to carry out their duties.”
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The District Director of Health Services for Nabdam District, Madam Meri Seidu, said the presentation of bicycles and capacity building for volunteers in her two sub-districts constituted a significant contribution to healthcare delivery in the district.
“In order for us to reach the community members and provide the services we always need our volunteers but our motivations are always woefully inadequate for them,” she explained.
Madam Seidu noted that even though the support from ADDRO did not cover the entire district, it gave them the opportunity to leverage resources from other sources to assist volunteers in the rest of the district.
The District Chief Executive (DCE) of Nabdam, Mrs Agnes Anamoo, thanked ADDRO for the support and noted that, “as someone who has once worked as a volunteer, I know the importance of the bicycles you have just presented to the volunteers and I want to thank you for the assistance.”
She further pledged her support for the project and said she would use her engagements with the communities to encourage them to utilise the support to derive maximum benefit in malaria control.
A beneficiary, Mr Emmanuel Simbil, on behalf of the volunteers, expressed gratitude to ADDRO for the support and promised to work hard in spite of the challenges they encountered, including loss of time for their personal farm works.
The Project Coordinator of the Community-based Malaria Control Project, Mr Prince Imoro Awimba, said ADDRO was not just making a one-time donation of bicycles but it also had a plan of replacing all major parts of the bicycle for the four-year duration of the project.
ADDRO is the development arm of the Anglican Church Diocese of Tamale, Ghana, with its national office in Bolgatanga and has programmes in agriculture, food security and sustainable livelihoods, health, environment, governance and peace building among others.
The organisation currently operates in seven regions in Ghana.
The Community-based Malaria Control Project aims to contribute to reduction in malaria related morbidity and mortality.