Back to Annual Meeting Page
American Public Health Association
133rd Annual Meeting & Exposition
December 10-14, 2005
Philadelphia, PA
APHA 2005
5016.0: Wednesday, December 14, 2005 - Board 4

Abstract #118413

Madagascar champion community initiative

Philippe LeMay and Serge Raharison. SanteNet, Chemonics International, Andohalo – 12, Monseigneur Fourcadier, Antananarivo, Madagascar, 261-20-22-289-53, SER@santenet.mg

The USAID funded SantéNet project is strengthening the health system by increasing community capacity to improve health status and food security at the household level while protecting Madagascar's unique environment.

The Champion Community program, designed to improve the sustainability of the health system by leading to healthier populations in healthier environments, was implemented in 24 communities of 7,000-10,000 inhabitants each. It is being expanded to 400 communities by September 2008.

The program creates village committees that monitor activity implementation in Madagascar's most endangered primary forest corridors. The communities hold outreach information sessions to educate villagers on family planning and reproductive health, child health and vaccination, malaria prevention, nutrition, hygiene and habitat, and safe water management. BCC messages also focus on the System of Improved Rice-culture (SRA), System of Intensive Rice-culture (SRI), reforestation, and reinforce the links between health and the environment.

Becoming a "Champion Community" requires prequalification by district health officials. Then, through meetings with community officials and local leaders, targets are set and activity plans drawn up and implemented. The goals of the Champion Communities are to achieve: 1) 80% infant vaccination coverage, 2) 65% of newborns receive a health card and is maintained up to date during post natal period, 3) 70% of children have received 3 doses of vitamin A by 24 months of age, 4) community volunteers carry out family planning promotion activities at health centers on a weekly basis, and 5) community ensures overall cleanliness.

Experiences have demonstrated that local leaders and community associations are motivated and proud of becoming "Champion Communities" by achieving these goals.

Learning Objectives:

  • The participant will learn the key principles of the Champion Communes approach