Over the years, Primary Health Care (PHC) has constituted one of the key activities of the TSSF Health Services. In short, every Institution has a PHC department that covers activities, overseeing the general wellness of the population in the Hospital and beyond—thus managing therapeutic and preventive dimensions of health care.
Such activities include antenatal care and Infant Welfare Clinic, community health education, administration of vaccines and other prophylactics, administration of anti-malaria treatment (IPT) and anti-anemic medication, follow up of children’s growth curve from 0-5yrs, antenatal registration and subsequent care, option B+ (following up of HIV positive pregnant women, administration of treatment to children born of HIV-positive mothers and follow up till the last test at 18 months), family planning, weighing of babies, home visits, nutritional assessment on mothers and children, home visits, humanitarian activities with the needy, etc.
In the various communities where we operate, the impact of Primary Health Care remains outstanding, even if much still needs to be improved. Some outstanding aspects include, reduction of maternal and child mortality and morbidity rate, timely life-saving interventions, change of mentality to adopt healthy beliefs and behavior patterns; such as, early registration for clinic by pregnant women; reduction of complications during labour and delivery since the problems are detected and addressed on time, reduction of premature deliveries, reduction of minor ailment and communicable diseases, participation of fathers in health education—which improves mother / child care; increase in normal deliveries, early detection of diseases and malformations, improvement of standard of living, hygiene and sanitation through health education, coverage of health area to out-reach services, women’s adherence to pre-and-post natal advice, improved knowledge of family planning, etc.
Notwithstanding the challenges experienced in this area are numerous. Delays in pre-natal registration, some pregnant women come at past term, poverty that prevents mothers from respecting the hygienic and nutritional advice, very few men accompany their wives to the clinics, defaulting ante-natal clinic, healthy cultural beliefs about pregnancy, delivery and treatment of children (such as drinking some herbs so that the children come out clean, drinking honey at the start of labour to accelerate it, but honey has been proven to cause postpartum hemorrhage, drinking lemon grass to slim babies, consultation of traditional healers to resolve transverse babies, etc), lack of financial and material resources, poor road network, inability to maintain cold chain, etc.
In synergy with the Ministry of Public Health and other actors, we are committed to making consistent efforts to resolve and overcome these challenges through continuous health education in media and out-of-media avenues to target groups, lobbying for nutritional aid for the poor and vulnerable, follow-up through phone calls to improve adherence to health appointments, motivating men who attend clinics, establishment of health posts in remote villages, etc. It is not adequate to detect the needs of a population, but to continue to lobby for social assistance in their favour, as many villages seem left to themselves.