This past June, the Catholic University of Mozambique in Quelimane played host to 46 religious leaders and faith-based volunteers from various districts in the Zambezia province to participate in a five-day community dialogue training.
The session, hosted by the Health Communication Capacity Collaborative (HC3) and supported by the Inter-Religious Program Against Malaria, was officially opened by the Zambezia Malaria Focal Person, Nelio Namanene with a presentation on the current situation and context of malaria within the province. The objectives of the training included:
- Refresh the participants’ general malaria knowledge – including modes of transmission, prevention, and treatment.
- Teach participants the techniques and communication skills needed for community facilitation.
- Provide background on monitoring and supervising field activities.
The participants were split in to two groups, with those from the Inhassunge, Namacurra and Nicoadala districts, totaling 24 individuals, in the first group, and participants from the Ile, Lugela, and Mocuba districts, for a total of 22 individuals, in the other. Although most participants had already participated in various training sessions related to malaria, the results of a general knowledge pre-test showed that there were still several misconceptions about the disease and lack of sufficient knowledge with regards to effective prevention methods.
By the end of the training, 15 women and 21 men passed the final assessment and qualified to be Community Facilitators. Moving forward, these 36 individuals will host community dialogue sessions, similar to those currently underway in the Tete and Nampula provinces.