Prepared by Fatma Mshinda and Oscar Lugumamu
As part of community engagement activities, the Afya-Tek team had regular meetings with government local leaders from the village and mtaa levels, including VEO and WEO, the village chairperson, as well as village and mtaa leaders about the project. These meetings and those engaged were crucial in spreading the word about the Afya - Tek project to the community.
The Afya-Tek project sought for a meeting, led by the DMO offices, where all relevant government and council leaders would gather and have Afya-Tek implementation updates and future plans. Each council conducted its own meeting. The meetings took place on May 24 in Kibaha Town Council and on May 25 in Kibaha District Council with full participation from all 42 councilors to update and engage them in the Afya-Tek project implementation.
Prior to the meeting with councilors, the team visited the DMOs and CHMTs in Kibaha TC and Kibaha DC. The team met the new DMOs from both Kibaha DC and Kibaha TC and received a briefing about the reason for our visit during the meeting. The DMO had some inquiries about the project, particularly with regards to how much it involved the council's various levels of governance. Dr. Kimatta updated the DMOs on the project's status and let them know that everyone is aware of it at all levels of council governance.
In Kibaha TC, to create more awareness, the DMO was able to present about the implementation of the Afya-Tek project and project sensitization during the first day's meeting. The councilors also discussed important project priorities and work plans to speed up project progress, particularly by including the Afya-Tek project in the Ward DC and their general meeting.
DMO from Kibaha TC presenting about the Afya-Tek project
Key outcomes of the meeting in Kibaha TC include:
There is an urgent need to obtain each ward's individual data from the Afya-Tek project. By exchanging these data, they will be able to establish priorities and determine the ward's actual population, which can be used in ward development planning.
Involving the hamlet leaders at the community level, including the hamlet leaders, will help with the registration of the difficult-to-register households and may be crucial in raising awareness of the Afya-Tek project at the hamlet level.
Advising the Afya-Tek team to provide smartphones to CHW who have lost their phones. Councilors praised the work that has been done by the CHW and thought that not having a smartphone, a key device for their work, could demoralize the work of the CHW, who are well committed to their work and community.
Councilors agreed to invite a member of the CHMTs to speak about the Afya - Tek project during Ward DC and general meetings in order to support the Afya - Tek team, especially during their Ward DC meeting and general meetings.
Kibaha TC council members
In Kibaha DC, Mr. Bonza Mshana (District Data Manager) of Kibaha District Council provided a brief overview of the Afya-Tek project implementation and the current status of the data in relation to the data collected by Afya-Tek during the meeting. He stated that according to their data, the number of children under the age of five was 19,000, compared to the Afya-Tek data, which was 18,000. However, the National Population Census reports the number to be 11,000, demonstrating that Afya-Tek provided the closest approximation to what they expected.
Mr. Bonza Mshana ( District Data Manager) presents about the Afya - Tek project
Key outcomes of the meeting in Kibaha, DC, include:
Head of the Department of Community Development, Ms. Zubeda Nkala, representing the District Executive Director, said that meetings with the Afya-Tek project should be continuous, and her department is going to ensure its availability and participation during such meetings. She agreed to show cooperation.
The councilors urged the Afya-Tek team to contact them without holding back whenever they run into problems in wards where the Afya-Tek project is being implemented because they are available to assist in resolving a variety of issues and implementation challenges.
The councilors agreed to make sure that the Afya-Tek agenda becomes the focal point and a permanent part of their community meetings (Ward DC and General Meeting).
Councilors agreed to be more involved and become more familiar with the Afya - Tek project work that is conducted by CHW on the.
Councilors asked for the data derived from the Afya-Tek project to be shared with them according to their respective wards.
Kibaha DC Councillors Members
In the Kibaha TC and DC discussion sessions, Apotheker’s senior technical advisor, Dr. Kimmatta, mentioned some of the gaps or areas that the Afya-Tek team has identified where the councilor could potentially have a role to play:
Incomplete registration of the Kibaha population, some people are still hesitant and refuse to get registered, including adolescents, a number of them are still reluctant
Inaccurate data uploaded by some CHW - the councilors could help by following up on this, encouraging them to work diligently
The councilors should support the linkage of the three primary healthcare providers (HF, CHW and ADDO), and understand the inclusion of ADDOs, which is a private health sector
Advocate Afya-Tek in their areas, during ward DC and other public meetings
All invited participants from the two District Councils as well as the project's implementing partners participated in the events, which were well-coordinated. Participants voiced their worries and suggestions for how to improve the project's implementation after it was well described to them by presenters.