Susan Makina, 51, has been a Community Health Volunteer (CHV) in Malawi since 2016. She lives and works in Tambala Mseleleka village in GVH Mpembedza in Mayaka, Zomba. She has largely worked with Community-Based Organizations (CBOs) looking after orphans and the elderly.
Susan had never used a mobile phone for work purposes before the CAIA-COVID Response project. That changed in June 2021 when she was enrolled in the project as a CHV, to be trained in COVID-19 prevention and management. Following their training, the CHVs began disseminating messaging on prevention and management to the community, thereby contributing to containing the spread of the disease. Susan and nearly 6,000 other CHVs in Malawi have accessed training material using Leap, a mobile learning platform. They receive the content on their phones through SMS and interactive voice recordings.
“I have held sensitization meetings in my village and other neighbouring villages on COVID-19 and its preventive measures. I have also shared messages with my village savings and loans group. In addition to that, I also encourage people, including young children that I meet in the street not wearing masks, on the need to wear their masks,” Susan tells us.
“I wish there were more lessons we could access on Leap,” she says. “Having the content on the phone allows us to access it whenever we need it and the group chats allow us to ask for additional information from our colleagues.”
Training of CHVs in Malawi using Leap is part of an integrated COVID-19 project that is made possible with the financial support of the Government of Canada through Global Affairs Canada.