Thanks to support from BRAC partners and GlobalGiving donors, BRAC's health initiatives in South Sudan have been active in the past year, educating communities about tuberculosis, malaria, as well as other common diseases such as diarrhea, dysentery, and the common cold.
BRAC plays a vital role in communities across South Sudan, which lack health infrastructure and are often unstable due to violence or disease outbreak. BRAC has trained local women as Community Health Promoters to implement a community-based approach that will increase TB case detection and treatment. Community Health Promoters are trained to visit households in the community and ask simple questions to help them detect TB symptoms. If she detects symptoms, the health promoter will encourage the sick person to be tested at a nearby government facility. Through this approach, BRAC hopes to create accessible and approachable healthcare that works in tandem with the government's efforts and facilities. In addition BRAC trains its promoters to educate families about how it is spread and what they can do to protect family and community members. The promoter then follows up with these individuals and advises on treatment if necessary.
BRAC’s health initiatives in South Sudan still need the support of GlobalGiving donors in order to train more promoters and help to create a cost-effective bridge between underserved poor communities and formal healthcare systems.
Since its first write-up in a scientific newsletter in 1991, BRAC has published several academic articles on its successes in tuberculosis treatment and control. We have also contributed chapters to Tuberculosis: an interdisciplinary perspective and more recently, in From One to Many, a collection of programmatic experiences. Ian Smillie dedicates a chapter of his book on BRAC, Freedom from Want, to BRAC's method of tuberculosis control.
In 2011, we decided to write a book to capture the broader elements of the history, collective insights, support systems and strategic thinking behind our TB control program – Making Tuberculosis History: Community-based Solutions for Millions. The book offers a complete account of the program: how it was conceived, piloted, refined, scaled, managed, and ultimately adapted for new contexts, including Bangladesh’s rapidly growing cities and Afghanistan’s remote mountainous regions. Summarizing past successes and current dilemmas, the book’s ultimate aim is to advance efforts to eliminate poverty and disease globally. The public health challenges facing the world today demonstrate the critical need for large-scale thinking; lessons from BRAC’s TB program can inspire others to think creatively about health delivery and advancing towards health for all.
With your support, we are excited to implement this effective program in South Sudan. Please consider contributing to this program.
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