26 August 2012, London.
Community health promoters doing role play at a refreshers training for malaria prevention at a BRAC branch in Paynesville, Monrovia, Liberia.
BRAC UK recently commissioned and facilitated an external evaluation of BRAC Liberia and BRAC Sierra Leone’s health programmes.
Since starting the programme in late 2008, BRAC has established a combined network of nearly 1,300 community health volunteers and staff in both countries delivering essential health care services in five key areas: reproductive healthcare;
Malaria control; TB control; family planning; and basic curative services.
The programme reaches a population of more than half a million people in Liberia (20 districts) and close to 800,000 people in Sierra Leone (7 districts).
Independent consultant, Sybil Bailor, who conducted the evaluation, ensured that all stakeholders were involved in the process including key partners in government and civil society, and local leaders and community participants. In the executive summary, she wrote:
“BRAC is seen as a valued partner in health in Liberia and Sierra Leone. The essential healthcare model implemented by BRAC is unique in the way it actually delivers practical and real health care in the community based on tried and tested methods improved over many years in Bangladesh and other parts of the world where poverty, war, and conflict have completely eroded the formal health system.”
The report made recommendations for including: the need for a simpler referral system to community health volunteers and increase uptake of government services; the opportunity for more malaria and tuberculosis treatment as part of the community healthcare approach; and the need for a publicity strategy to raise awareness of BRAC’s work in health, agriculture and livelihoods.