Health & Nutrition in Senegal

Health Committees, which are made up of epicenter partners, operate medical programs that provide maternal care, disease-prevention, and HIV/AIDS services.

The Health Committee assists in operating the health clinic (including a delivery room, consultation rooms, pharmacy and toilets). The clinic typically tracks child and maternal health, provides malaria and tuberculosis prevention and treatment, offers nutrition education, administers medications and supplies and coordinates with government and local agencies to host medical staff.

All of the epicenters in Senegal have health centers, five of which are operated by The Hunger Project. Nine of the clinics are staffed by trained healthcare providers. There is an average of 1.3 nurses, two government-paid healthcare staff and three community health volunteers per epicenter. Six provide nurses quarters and a maternity ward and there are a total of 10 midwives among the epicenters.

Eight of the clinics have a dispensary or pharmacy of some kind and five offer lodging for the families or patients.

All but one of the epicenters offer vaccinations against diseases such as yellow fever, polio, tetanus, diphtheria, hepatitis and whooping cough. All of the epicenters offer malnutrition counseling and treatment, diarrhea and dehydration treatment and height and weight tracking for children. There are two or three trained birthing assistants per epicenter and eight of the epicenter clinics offer family planning services and prenatal care, while five offer postnatal care.

Half of the epicenters offer malaria screening and treatment and three of the epicenters distribute bed nets.

All of the epicenters offer HIV/AIDS screening and nine offer counseling for those living with HIV or AIDS, but only two of the epicenters have antiretroviral medication for distribution. Seven of the epicenters distribute condoms. In conjunction with the gender equality programs and workshops, these programs seek to raise awareness about safe sex practices, and reduce the risk of HIV/AIDS transmission. The Hunger Project also trains specialized volunteer “HIV animators” in each epicenter who conduct workshops that engage both women and men in learning the facts of HIV/AIDS and the role of gender inequality in fueling the pandemic. The HIV animators work with the epicenter Health Committee in mobilizing the entire population to halt the spread of HIV.