Child Nutrition and Health Results Project –MCNHRP- stakeholders recently
conducted a five-day discussion on the health project’s work plan activities at
the National Nutrition Agency –NaNA)- conference hall in Kanifing.
The MCNHRP is a five-year project targeting to improve health and nutrition status of Gambian people, funded by the World Bank.
Malang N. Fofana, acting deputy director of National Nutrition Agency said the complexity of the project made its implementation to go beyond NaNA and the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare because of its multi components.
According to him, all components of the project are accompanied by social and behavioral change communication because its idea is targeted to change people’s behavior with a view to building resilience of vulnerable households.
Speaking to The Point at the sidelines of the forum, Abdou Aziz Ceesay, program manager and health promotion specialist at the National Nutrition Agency, who also handles the SBCC component of the MCMNRP project said it is a result based financing project.
According to him, the project is in two phases; the supply side, which tries to strengthen the health facilities in terms of quality, people’s utilization of the services, making the environment conducive for them and drugs so that they are able to handle the demand coming from the communities,
He said other aspect of the project is the demand side, saying they feel that those coming to utilise the services are only from the communities.
Mr. Ceesay noted that it is important to empower the communities in trying to change behaviors so that they can positively respond to the utilisation of the services.
Ceesay further noted that they have already agreed with the communities in about 10 to 12 set of indicators and upon meeting some of those indicators or milestones, handsome amount of money will be given to the communities of which 20% will be given to the VSGs, adding that these VSGs are structures being setup by NaNA at the level of the communities to help sensitise and advocate for some of the 16 key family practices that the project is promoting for example booking early; delivering at the level of the health facility; when the child is sick, you refer on time.