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NORSAAC Implements CQI Project



NORSAAC has once again implemented a project dubbed’’ Community Quality Improvement (CQI) in fifteen communities in the Mion District of the northern region. The beneficiary communities include Kabado, Tafaldo, Nsoja, Tikido, Liwalibo, Wayodo, Sobitido. Others include Tajudo, ‘’A’’, Tajudo ‘’B’’, Bungbali, Kuboni, Bachabordo, Makondo, Niwurindo, and Nayekundo.

Community Quality Improvement (CQI) focuses on improvements to the life of a child during the 1,000 days from pregnancy to age two. The CQI 1,000 approach will be used to measure and improve the quality of nutrition services at the community level, both through community generated change ideas and improved linkages to service providers.

The organisation has worked in partnership with community health volunteers (CHVs) to establish a community-based platform (called the CQI committee) to sustain and strengthen existing community groups and increase its own and CHVs’ capacity to systematically and effectively reach households with needed nutrition education and wider nutrition services. CHVs play a crucial role in linking Community Health and Planning Services (CHPS) facilities with existing community members.

However, the ability of both CHPS staff and CHVs to reach community members individually is limited due to time and scale. Therefore, using existing groups operational within communities and placing their representatives within the CQI committee provides a strong opportunity to increase the reach and scale of contacts and engagement.

Such groups included, but are not limited to: savings groups, water user groups, mothers’ groups, church/mosque groups or local leader groups. Groups can be informal based on a common interest or formal, with elected representatives. The CQI committee took its own identified nutrition actions co-ordinated with the CHVs and the CHPS by leveraging the network of existing community groups. CHVs played a crucial role as communities were coached on the identified nutrition agenda and ensured linkages to health facilities.

Although most communities had community groups and structures in place, they were poorly organized, dysfunctional, or not connected to appropriate resources to be able to address the nutrition issues of community members. The CQI 1,000 approach is intended to improve these existing groups and structures. CQI is a SPRING Project of a five-year co-operative agreement funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). SPRING’s overarching vision is to reduce under nutrition, prevent stunting, and work with women and children under two years of age to reduce anemia.

The RFA focuses on improving the communities’ ability to address nutrition issues and strengthen the linkages between health facilities and communities. A presentation was made by participants on the nutrition gaps identified in their various communities with possible solutions and the way forward. Some of the issues they tackled were hand washing, Antenatal, Child Welfare Care (CWC).

The projects ends in March 2017. Speaking to Zaa News, the Zonal and Livelihood manager of NORSAAC, Mr. Mohammed Ukasha noted that further monitoring will be done after the end of the project to ensure that communities continue to hold meetings as they were formed from existing functional community groups and expected to be meeting regularly to discuss issues of health and nutrition that confront their communities.

Mrs. Awogsha Rose a community health nurse at Sambu in the Mion district sharing her views about the project stated that the project has come to cut down the burden on health workers in the district and that it would go a long way to make their work easier.

Some participants who spoke to Zaa News also expressed their profound gratitude to NORSAAC and SPRING for coming to their aid with such an initiative. CQI according to them has helped them cater for their wives as well as their children.  

 By: Lilian D. Walter


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