Empowered Community Health Workers Making a difference: Sauda Ayubu's Story

UMATI Tanzania

My name is Sauda, I am 38 years old. I work as a community health worker (CHW) under the WISH programme in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, where I offer sexual reproductive health information, education, and referrals at the community level.

After completing my secondary education in 2007, I went to the local ward office, introduced myself and informed the leadership about my interest in development work. A while later, I was informed about the need for community health volunteers under the WISH programme implemented by Chama cha Uzazi na Malezi Bora Tanzania (UMATI).

I did an interview and was lucky to be among the few who were selected. I attended a capacity building workshop which enabled me to start providing services to the community. I have always loved community work and I am passionate about door-to-door visits to offer health information.

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Sauda and other community health workers (CHWs).

From the project inception to date, I have been able to reach about 2,376 people in different groups, including young people. I reaching youth through peer groups, sports clubs including football, and through organized meetings in the community. During these sessions, I provide them with sexual reproductive health education information and services.

The most preferred contraceptives among youth are condoms, as they help protect them from unplanned pregnancies and sexually transmitted infections (STIs).

Disability Inclusion

After a disability inclusion refresher training with UMATI, I learnt that people with disability (PWD) have different priorities from other groups and that they need special attention. I explored means to reach them such as through PWD entrepreneurship groups and connected them with family planning services.

One major responsibility of community health workers is to educate the community about sexual reproductive health and rights (SRHR), including during the Covid-19 pandemic. I provide family planning education coupled with information about how people can protect themselves from Covid-19.

Under the WISH program, I have managed to cascade my SRH knowledge to 14 new community health workers in Mabibo ward who started their work through me. I have also built capacity for more than six community health workers from Makuburi, Mbezi, Kimara and Makurumla wards.

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