The Citizen Observatory for Health (OCS) calls for greater cooperation between Civil Society Organizations, the Ministry of Health (OCS), health professionals and cooperation partners in order to resolve the problems that plague the National Health System (SNS), following the threat of a strike by resident doctors at Maputo Central Hospital, Mozambique’s largest hospital.

Read the full article on the strike threat: https://www.observatoriodesaude.org/a-partir-de-01-de-novembro-nao-pagamento-de-horas-extraordinarias-obriga-medicos-residentes-do-hcm-a-paralisar-actividades/ 

According to António Mate – coordinator of the Public Participation Pillar in OCS –speaking on the sidelines of the 9th Annual Health Fair that took place last Friday (November 10) in Maputo, coordination between the various social pillars is important for mobilizing mechanisms to improve the health sector.

“The Annual Health Fair is a fruitful space for bringing Civil Society Organizations, the Government through the Ministry of Health, health professionals and cooperation partners closer together”, said Mate.

According to Mate, Health Fairs are important because they bring together exhibitors who are continually looking at the major challenges and opportunities on the National Health Service agenda.

“This type of event serves to involve government organizations operating in the health field, users of health services and the general public. All these stakeholders are invited to appreciate the work, research and actions carried out by Civil Society Organizations”, said the researcher, adding that “participants also benefit from health diagnoses and various consultations, usually provided within the public health network and beyond.”

The event, which took place as part of the celebrations for Maputo City’s 136th anniversary, was organized by NAIMA+, a network of international non-governmental organizations working in the field of health in Mozambique.

The OCS, as one of the organizations that organized the event, presented to the audience its repertoire of research carried out so far, highlighting the need to make efforts to improve basic services in the SNS.

Mate also highlighted the soccer match as a crucial element for interaction between the event’s participants, as there was engagement and involvement between various actors in the health sector, in informal conversations about the functioning of the health sector.

For Mate, this activity also served to promote dialogue outside of the office, a fruitful strategy for “establishing present and future partnerships.”

The Fair – which brought together various civil society organizations and public institutions in Independence Square – was well attended by residents, who took the time to appreciate and enjoy some services, as well as celebrating another anniversary of the Mozambican capital.

This is the second time that OCS has taken part in the Fair, which this year was held under the slogan: “Together We Are Stronger in Building Healthy Communities”, which warns of the need to boost inclusion in health services.

Exhibitors welcome initiative

During the event, the Citizen’s Observatory for Health interviewed other organizations that were there. According to the organizations in question, the event served to facilitate the exchange of views between organizations working in the health sector in Mozambique, and it was also possible to share experiences and challenges.

The Center for Collaboration in Health (CCS) provided health services such as rapid blood glucose tests and blood pressure measurements, as well as tuberculosis screening to all the visitors who sought these services.

“We were here screening people with possible symptoms and signs suggestive of tuberculosis; we measured the blood glucose of all the patients who were here. We also measured blood pressure. Our colleagues carried out their duties as health professionals”, said Rita Armando, a general medicine technician at the CCS.

For her part, Gertrudes Carmen, programme officer at Pathfinder International, said that the Fair served as an opportunity for various organizations to exchange views on the activities they have been carrying out in the health sector. Pathfinder exhibited materials on sexual and reproductive health, human rights and safe abortion.

“The fair helped to educate some residents about the use of family planning and female condoms”, Carmen said.

Gertrudes Carmen

For her part, Maura de Almeida, a colaborator of Jhpiego – an international non-governmental organization that supports various health projects in Mozambique, namely: Gender-Based Violence (GBV), treatment units, tuberculosis, among others – said that her organization is already used to participating in the annual health fair.

“Every year, we prepare for this event. In coordination with NAIMA+, we produce materials such as brochures, leaflets, catalogs, agendas, T-shirts of our projects or sub-projects for consideration and distribution. However, each year is different, there are always new organizations with different projects and we always learn new things and exchange experiences”, he said.

Maura de Almeida

As part of the 9th annual health fair, Jhpiego offered cervical cancer and breast cancer testing services, promotion of STI services, HIV self-testing materials, maternal and child health services, sexual and reproductive health, family planning and contraceptive supplies.

OCS also heard from Açucena Gujamo, an employee of Oásis Moçambique – an organization that works directly with the community on issues related to preventive health, gender-based violence, youth empowerment, education and medical assistance on antiretroviral treatment.

According to Gujamo, the 9th edition of the health fair served to develop unity and interaction between the NGOs.

Açucena Gujamo

Event brought benefits to the public

On the other hand, some residents interviewed by the Citizen’s Observatory for Health congratulated the initiative, claiming that it had brought numerous benefits to the public, especially Maputo residents.

Alberto Machaeie, one of the beneficiaries of the services offered at the Fair, said that the Fair was positive because it was possible to do “quick tests for HIV, tuberculosis, glycemia and uterine cancer. As well as health services, the fair offered the issue of identity cards, birth cards and passports.”

Alberto Machaeie

For his part, André Tembe, also interviewed by OCS, pointed out that the initiative to hold the health fair on the public holiday was a good one, so that people could get to know the activities even better.

“We certainly didn’t all know about the work of certain NGOs which, by the way, have been operating in the country for a long time and have done a lot of work for the health of the communities. The fair should continue at the same pace over the next few years, but more attention should be paid to publicizing it in order to reach more people”, he said.

André Tembe

In general, during the Fair, various services were offered, such as: screening for hypertension, diabetes, tuberculosis and malaria; HIV counseling and testing; awareness-raising for cervical and breast screening.

Other services provided at the event had to do with laboratory diagnosis with Point-of-Care glycated hemoglobin; GBV care; pre- and post-partum counseling; vaccination against Covid-19; telemedicine as a health alternative, among others.

Instead of health services, there was also exposition of services for issuing identity cards and passports, among others.

FMO Holds Workshop to Socialize and Analyze PESOE-2024 Proposal

The Budget Monitoring Forum (FMO), a platform of Civil Society Organizations focused on and interested in the area of public finance management, in partnership with the Assembly of the Republic, UNICEF and the Finnish Embassy in Mozambique, will be holding a workshop on 17 and 18 November to analyse the proposal for the Economic and Social Plan and State Budget (PESOE) 2024, with a focus on the social sectors.

The aim of the event is to present and socialize the PESOE 2024 proposal with parliamentarians and civil society; to gather contributions for improving the proposal and aligning it with the Government’s Five-Year Plan (PQG); as well as to raise awareness and provide input to Members of Parliament on the panorama of social protection, children, women and girls in the Plans and Budgets, with a view to ensuring the inclusion and prioritization of specific and sensitive actions for these vulnerable groups.

It also aims to share experiences to strengthen public finance management and pursue Mozambique’s development agenda. 

The event will be attended by deputies and assistants from the Assembly of the Republic’s 2nd and 3rd committees, representatives from the Agriculture, Economy and Environment Committee, the Assembly of the Republic’s Press Office, the Ministry of Economy and Finance, the Ministry of Education and Human Development, the Ministry of Health, cooperation partners, among others.

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