Despite availability of different services free of cost or at a minimal cost, many extreme poor households do not often claim them. There are two reasons for this – one is lack of awareness and the other is the absence of an effective linkage with the service providers. The Prosperity programme intervenes to address both the challenges to ensure primary healthcare and other health and nutrition services for the target households.
At the moment, the programme is working to ensure intake of Vitamin A Plus capsules by children aged between six months and five years old across the country. These capsules prevent their loss of sight due to malnutrition, increase immunity and reduce complexities related to diarrhoea and measles. It also minimises the risk of child mortality. The June 5-19 National Vitamin A Plus Campaign 2021 is being organised by the government and the Prosperity programme is playing a supportive role in its working area.
These message building for the participants and linkage building with local government institutions are initiated and executed under Community Mobilisation component, with support from other components.
To mobilise the community people, Assistant Technical Officers (ATO) of Community Mobilisation component along with ATO-Nutrition, CNHPs and Field Officers first create awareness among the participants during Prosperity Village Committee (PVC) and Maa O Shishu forum meetings as well as during regular household visits.
During these meetings, field officials explain the health benefits of each of these campaigns (Vitamin A capsule, de-worming, Measles-Rubella, etc) and how they prevent various diseases (Nyctalopia, blindness, etc.) and bacterial infections as well as improve eyesight and immune system.
Through community engagement, programme officials then encourage programme participants to visit the nearest health facilities for the service. While the Community Nutrition and Health Promoters (CNHPs) accompany the participants to the health facilities in some cases, field officers are sometimes present to assist both the participants and the health officials. Senior programme officials also visit the health facilities to monitor the activities and to promote the campaigns.