Care group promoters in Mchinji have a reason to celebrate as they have received a much-needed boost in the form of 186 bicycles to address mobility challenges as they visit care groups.
The care group model is an innovative approach primarily used in international development settings to promote social and behavioural changes through supported peer-to-peer knowledge sharing, mainly among mothers, which has been instrumental in disseminating critical information about nutrition and health practices in communities.
Davie Panyani, the principal nutrition, HIV, and AIDS officer at Mchinji District Council said the bicycles were provided by the World Bank under the Investing in Early Years Project (IEYP).
“The bicycles will help ease the mobility of the promoters as they move in the communities to meet the care groups under their watch. The care group promoters will regularly meet with their care groups and conduct learning sessions with cluster leaders so that nutrition and health messages are delivered to all beneficiary households,” said Panyani.
One of the care group promoters Brenda Deusi, of Tsamphare Village, Traditional Authority Mlonyeni, expressed joy over the bicycles saying they have come in handy.
“We used to have significant problems reaching out to care groups, but now the problems are eased as the bicycles have not only made our work more efficient but have also enhanced our outreach capabilities,” said Deusi.
Mchinji is one of the districts where IEYP is being implemented and the primary objective of the project is to improve the coverage and utilisation of early childhood development services, with a specific focus on nutrition, stimulation, and early learning, from conception to 59 months.
The care group promoters play a pivotal role in the care group model by acting as intermediaries between health experts and community members, ensuring that essential health and nutrition information reaches those who need it the most.