The International Committee of the Red Cross is working with health authorities and workers to improve access to healthcare to communities affected by armed violence in central Mozambique. We visited communities in Bárue and Gorongosa districts to understand the needs and improve protection of health workers and facilities.
“Armed violence affected access to health care in our community. The health centre was closed after being looted during violence and we were forced to rely on traditional healers,” says Frederico Andre Mudgesa, Vunduzi Community Leader (fumo), Gorongosa district.
Lorinha Creva is a mother of 10 children, four of whom died at a young age due to illness. All her children, including Antónia, were born at home because of difficulties she faced reaching the nearest health centre before giving birth.
Rieza Mussafa, mother of two, works at Canda Health Centre, Gorongosa district. In 2016, the health centre was vandalized when she was assisting a client. She can't believe that she survived the incident and doesn’t want any of her colleagues to go through the same experience. “Today I’m aware that health workers and their facilities should not ever be attacked”.
In order to improve access to health care to communities affected by armed violence in Manica and Sofala Provinces, the ICRC donated five motorbikes in Gorongosa district which will support the organization and delivery of health outreach activities to remote areas. In 2017, the ICRC also rehabilitated three clinics in Báruè and Gorongosa districts affected by the violence, improving access to healthcare for 74,000 people.
Manuel Julinho Sande is the head nurse at Vunduzi Health Centre. He was trained as a nurse five years ago and has been working in Vunduzi for three years. During the violence, the equipment of the health centre was looted, including the solar panel and fridge which limited access to health services to over 19,000 people. He is happy that he will be able to access communities far away from the health centre because of the motorbike donated by the ICRC.
Members of the Canda Health Committee dance in celebration after receiving a motorbike from the ICRC that will support health outreach activities. The group help promote health and wellness in communities around the Canda Health Centre by conveying messages through dance for community health promotion activities.