Capacity building lies at the heart of Malaria Consortium’s mission – to build the knowledge, skills and abilities of malaria-endemic countries worldwide to prevent and manage malaria and other diseases – such as pneumonia, malnutrition, diarrhoea, dengue and neglected tropical diseases – that threaten the lives of poor and vulnerable communities. For Malaria Consortium, this involves the process by which human and institutional resources are strengthened in order to provide improved and sustainable healthcare. We work with governments, partners, health workers, communities and the private sector to make sure that local actors have the capacity to provide effective services that contribute to reduction in disease while strengthening local health systems.
All of our training programmes are competency-based and are evaluated to ensure that knowledge, skills, and effectiveness have improved. We design, develop and pre-test training materials such as trainer guides, participant workbooks, support supervision manuals, job aids, competency assessments and evaluation tools.
At the health facility level, we train different cadres of health workers and other staff to effectively manage cases and improve health delivery, such as through the supply chain. We accomplish this not only through training, but also by strengthening capacity for follow-up supervision and periodic capacity assessments – ensuring that trained staff follow performance standards, are motivated, supplied with the tools for their job and encouraged to stay in post. The results of our efforts are strengthened health systems, with resilience to establish and maintain quality assurance for malaria diagnosis and treatment.
Private health sector providers are major health players in the countries where we work, so it is crucial that we engage with them to ensure quality of services. In order to do this, we improve their ability to accurately diagnose and treat as well as provide other services. We have trained these providers across multiple countries so that they can better diagnose, treat, refer and record cases of malaria and other illnesses.
We help communities to take ownership of health issues and ensure uptake of health services. We do this by promoting healthy attitudes and behaviours by promoting community involvement and dialogue on health issues through public health communication activities, creating awareness and increasing usage of community-based health services among populations. We also train community health workers at scale to assess, classify and treat childhood illnesses such as malaria, pneumonia, diarrhoea and malnutrition through programmes such as integrated community case management, and via prevention programmes such as seasonal malaria chemoprevention. We build capacity of communities to effectively demand services and take part in the local governance structures.
We also establish and maintain resource centres for communicable diseases and work with countries to assist development of relevant health policies and strategies such as comprehensive national malaria control strategic plans. These national policies and strategies help guide all parts of the health system – from public to private and from facility to community levels.