By the time this program ends in five years, these communities will be able to carry on for themselves what they've learned and developed, without requiring the same direct assistance from the U.S. government and World Vision
Washington, DC (PRWEB) August 10, 2009
International humanitarian agency World Vision has received a $49.4 million grant from the U.S. government for projects improving health and livelihoods in Mozambique's Zambézia Province with an innovative set of approaches.
World Vision will lead a consortium of local and international partners in the five-year program, including Adventist Development and Relief Agency, ACDI/VOCA, International Relief and Development, The Johns Hopkins University, Red Cross Mozambique and Vanderbilt University.
Named "Ogumaniha," which means "united for a common purpose" in the local Chuabo language, the program will be funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) to address the health, water, sanitation and agricultural needs of the province's children, women, and families in an integrated way. Training, technology, mobile phones and even bicycles will be part of the program.
"This is an exciting opportunity to substantially improve the lives of children, women and families in Zambézia province," said Francois Batalingaya, MPH, the World Vision humanitarian affairs specialist who led the program's design. "Health, including responding to the growing HIV and AIDS problem, will be the main focus while all the interventions are aimed to work together to strengthen the communities we reach."
The people of Zambézia now have very limited access to healthcare, with only 179 health centers and fewer than 40 trained Mozambican doctors available for the nearly 3.8 million residents of the province, roughly the size of Washington state. A lack of infrastructure means many must walk more than 20 kilometers (12 miles) to obtain care at health posts that aren't always equipped for maternity or emergency needs. The lack of health services and sanitation, along with food insecurity, contribute to the spread of diseases throughout the region. The HIV rate among adults jumped to 19 percent, from 13 percent, between 2000 and 2007.
World Vision and partners will train community health workers and equip them with mobile phones and bicycles to make rounds in remote areas so women with high-risk pregnancies, new mothers and newborns can have access to care and consultation. Insecticide-treated bed nets will be distributed to households to guard against malaria. Bicycle ambulances, mobile outreach teams and waiting huts for pregnant women will also be provided.
The program will improve sanitation through "Tippy-Taps" for handwashing in schools and building latrines, and boost agricultural development by creating "Junior Farmer" irrigation groups for orphans and vulnerable children. It will also promote and finance demand-driven investments for agricultural production and livelihoods, and build the capacity of community groups and government departments at provincial and district levels for decisions that impact living conditions for the rural population.
"By the time this program ends in five years, these communities will be able to carry on for themselves what they've learned and developed, without requiring the same direct assistance from the U.S. government and World Vision," said Chance Briggs, director of programs for World Vision Mozambique. "We plan to turn responsibility over to the local communities through district development associations, which will form an essential link between them and the district government."
The Christian humanitarian relief and development agency World Vision has worked in Mozambique since 1984, when it responded to severe droughts with emergency programs. It was awarded the grant on the strength of innovative, partnered approaches to the situation in Zambézia. World Vision and its partners are adding an additional $12 million of their own resources, giving the project a total budget of $61 million.
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