The issues at stake
Promoting a central role for users in care pathways is one of the central issues in setting up holistic health systems adapted to the needs of individuals, facilitating adherence and quality of care.
Our approach, and intervention strategies
Community mobilisation aims to enable users to define their own needs and modalities of action in order to improve access to care.
The modalities of action which mobilise users depend as much on the intervention context as on the profiles of the communities involved, and on the intervention methods they choose. As such, it may be a question of working with the users of a health institution, or with a formal group. We should add that participating in the development of civil society, provided that it takes into account the experience of health service users, forms part of Solthis’ current activities, which are set to become more far-reaching in their effects in the coming years, in a process of partnership with and support of local civil society organisations, contributing to the improvement of health provision. Solthis is therefore endeavouring to adapt its initiatives and to set up different modalities of intervention in its projects, in order to stimulate the demand for high-quality healthcare at the level of health centres, as well as of the definition of public policy at a national level.
These interventions may take the following forms:
• Promoting the empowerment of users through awareness-raising and health education, whether or not they are in the care pathway, so that they are informed about available health services, and are able to make informed choices about their health. Awareness-raising and health education can be provided in face-to-face meetings, as for example in the JADES Project, where sexual and reproductive health education sessions are run by young people for young people. “mHealth”, or mobile health, can also be used for these interventions.
• Promoting the rights of individuals by encouraging the people themselves to make demands. For example, as part of the PACTES Project in Guinea, Solthis is supporting the creation of a patients’ collective in order to challenge health institutions and national public decision-makers, with a view to the improvement of the health system.
• Enhancing and consolidating the skills of national civil society actors. In the Empower project, for example, being conducted in Sierra Leone, Solthis is providing operational and organisational support to the NETHIPS patient network and is promoting its leadership in order to help it become established nationally as an advocacy agent.