Community ensures access to free healthcare

Makama, in ward 110, is located within the municipality of Makeni City. The community is one of the largest in the Bombali district with an estimated population of more than 6,000 people.

The community have two health centres (one government hospital and a community health post). Before SABI, the two health centres did not have facility management committees. This was a big challenge for the health workers because the primary focus of these committees is to ensure the running of the peripheral health units. This includes day to day operations, medicine access and supply within the community, infrastructure, equipment management and general sanitation.

According to Mr Suliaman Sixty Kamara – Disabled Activist and Vice-Chairman – Polio Persons Development Association

Before SABI intervention they thought that the facilities were owned by the nurses, and it is their responsibilities to maintain everything, so as community stakeholders they did not have a role to play. But after the intervention of SABI, which has raised community awareness of their roles and responsibilities, they now know the importance of facility management committees.

 

Makama Facility Management Committee

Impact of the FMC

In June 2020, the Makama community formed their own facility management committee (FMC), using the SABI action plan template to facilitate this process.  The most cited factor for successful action plans is a critical mass of leaders and citizens that are both motivated and skilled. Their impact to date is impressive. They now ensure that pregnant women, breastfeeding mothers, and caregivers for children under five, are well informed about access to free medicines and healthcare facilities. They gather community feedback on the health services within their catchments area and share it with the District Health Management Team (DHMT). They also identify and engage with key community members, such as community health workers and traditional birth attendants.

Other achievements include monitoring drug supplies in the centres, equipment management and maintaining good sanitation in the community.

 

The SABI Legacy

It is clear that SABI interventions continue to make a difference within the community, as community stakeholders such as the FMC can now lobby state service providers, for example, to access free medical drugs.