Primary Health Care
International Medical Corps is providing emergency medical relief to over 500,000 beneficiaries annually in Darfur. International Medical Corps provides services out of 28 health facilities throughout Central, South, and West Darfur; and in many sites, we are the only implementing health partner. International Medical Corps’ comprehensive primary health care program includes: outpatient consultations, disease treatment and prevention, reproductive health care, health education, immunization, child health care and surveillance, and timely referrals to emergency and secondary treatment. Throughout our interventions, we emphasize training and ongoing mentorship to improve the capacity of the health system to provide continued, quality care to beneficiaries. Finally, we support the SMOH in establishing a foundation for strong healthcare delivery, health information systems, drug supply, and financing.
Women's and Children's Health
Caretakers and children are among the most vulnerable populations in conflict-affected communities. International Medical Corps provides comprehensive reproductive health services, including:
• Family planning, including child spacing
• Antenatal care
• Assisted deliveries and emergency obstetric care
• Postnatal care
• Prevention and treatment of HIV/AIDS and sexually transmitted illnesses
Integrated programs within our primary health package, including immunizations, nutritional screening and treatment, and assistance with newborn care also contributes to improving maternal and child health outcomes.
International Medical Corps works closely with traditional birth attendants (TBAs) to increase facility deliveries and skilled birth attendance. We are working with TBAs in the target communities, and providing incentives for them to refer women to our health centers for ANC, delivery, and PNC. This program, in which TBAs receive small non-cash incentives like soap or sugar upon the referral of women for RH services, has grown to a point where the TBAs are essential players in the RH services available at our clinics. In 2014, TBAs referred over 15,000 women for RH services.
Nutrition and Food Security
As violence and unrest continue year after year in Darfur, food security deteriorates. In response, at our clinics and through home visits, medical and community health workers screen and treat children under five, as well as pregnant and lactating women, for malnutrition. International Medical Corps also implements a comprehensive community-based nutrition education program via its mother care groups. Each mother care group is composed of 10-15 mothers of children under two years old or pregnant and lactating women and one lead mother. We train lead mothers of each group about health and nutrition messaging that they will then pass on to their peers. By educating families in the prevention of malnutrition, International Medical Corps helps local communities avoid the lasting developmental impacts of hunger.
Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH)
Many communities in Darfur confront shortfalls in water quality and quantity. Influxes in refugee populations frequently strain already fragile water collection and sanitation systems in host communities and camps. By establishing Water Action Committees and Hygiene Promotion Committees, International Medical Corps is empowering communities to become aware of WASH needs and to advocate for themselves. Committees are trained and then held responsible for facilitating renovation projects as well as for liaising with the government to ensure resources are being made available. Our activities include:
• Education and promotion of good hygiene practices
• The creation of waste disposal facilities and practices
• Chlorination, rehabilitation, and maintenance of water points
• Construction of drainage canals and latrines
• Community clean up campaigns
Together, these programs help communities protect an essential resource and prevent the spread of water-borne diseases.
Since 2004, we have trained hundreds of national medical personnel, traditional birth attendants, and community leaders on:
• The prevention and treatment of common communicable diseases
• Reproductive health and early childhood care
• The identification and management of common childhood illnesses
• Nutritional screening, treatment, and prevention
The expertise of these health care providers is crucial to integrating health care services into the community. Additionally, their skills provide the continuity of care needed to stabilize fragile health systems and build communities’ long-term recovery.
Furthermore, International Medical Corps works with national non-governmental organizations to implement a robust program of health, nutrition, and hygiene education. Volunteers from the partner organizations work to deliver education sessions at our clinics twice per day as well as in the community and at schools. Topics for education sessions include prevention and treatment of common childhood diseases, vaccine preventable diseases, communicable disease prevention, diversification of local foods, infant and young child feeding, nutrition during illness, prevention and treatment of STIs, safe motherhood, gender-based violence, family planning, WASH, and hand washing.