It’s no secret that IRS is becoming more expensive to implement. Increasingly, we need to come up with new ideas to reduce costs, and Technical Specialist, Godfrey Karera had a great one. VectorLink (VL) Rwanda was paying 3,445 village mobilizers to disseminate information, generate support, and foster cooperation of indoor residual spray (IRS) campaigns across districts, sectors, cells, and villages in the community. Godfrey realized that if he garnered the support of local leadership and created community ownership over mobilization, VL Rwanda could save significantly and potentially protect more people from malaria.
With the support of the COP Dr. John Bosco Rwakimari, Godfrey approached leaders of Kirehe and Nyagatare districts, where VL Rwanda sprays, with an alternative approach to community mobilization. Godfrey asked local authorities to no longer hire the excessive number of village mobilizers every spray round to mobilize their own neighbors’ friends and community, and instead involve existing local groups. The response was positive. District authorities formally committed to engaging diverse groups and clubs, such as village and cell leaders, Isibo leaders, youth volunteers, and agriculture volunteers, to conduct door-to-door community mobilization free of charge. In return, these village mobilizers will be publically recognized at various community level meetings and handed over merit certificates.
Currently, community mobilization preparations are in high gear, and Godfrey intends to cascade the idea of free community mobilization in VL Rwanda’s new district (Ngoma). Through his fine leadership skills, Godfrey has built strong relationships with GoR/MOPDD and district leaderships, reduced costs by $27,339 and further strengthened VL’s ability to protect people from malaria in the long-term. Way to go, Godfrey!