Monday, August 10, 2009

World Vision receives an US grant for Mozambique work

The U.S. government has awarded 49 million dollars to World Vision for an aid project in Mozambique. The grant money will be used to improve health access, water and sanitation in Mozambique's Zambézia Province. World Vision is also using 12 million dollars of their own money for the project's budget.

From this World Vision press release, we read more about the details of the wide ranging project that will even include cell phones and bicycles.

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.

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