HSAs in Thyolo Question Polio Campaign

Some Health Surveillance Assistants (HSAs) in Thyolo have questioned a decision by District Health Office to leave out volunteers who were supposed to be part of the Polio vaccination exercise slated for tomorrow through Thursday.

In a letter Zodiak has seen dated March 18, 2022, Thyolo district health authorities indicated that due to financial challenges from World Health Organization (WHO) and also the nature of the work to be done, they have decided to pair the HSAs and leave out volunteers as recorders in the exercise as previously arranged.

According to some of the HSAs who have spoken to Zodiak, it is surprising that the current arrangement, which would overload them, is not happening in other districts.

"We are just concerned because the workload is too much. According to the days we have been given, we thought it would not work. We will work for four days the in the two catchment areas.

“Earlier, we were told that we will work as one HSA as a vaccinator and two volunteers, one as a recorder and another mobiliser. Now it has been changed to work two HSAs without volunteers," the HSAs said.

Meanwhile, Thyolo District Expanded Program on Immunization (EPI) Coordinator Wasili Mathumula, says they have now decided to use one volunteer not as a recorder, but a mobiliser in the catchment area, while a pair of the HSAs will do the recording and immunization exercise.

"For us to have good data management, then we need to have someone who is well trained because the forms are just very complicated. They cannot be handled by volunteers.

“That's why we are saying, still we can have the HSAs to change roles. One can do as a vaccinator and the other one a recorder. So then a volunteer, will now be mobilizing the community," Mathumula said.

The vaccination exercise comes after the country record one polio case in Lilongwe last month.

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