As part of the program's community involvement activities, CHAMPS (Child Health and Mortality Prevention and Surveillance), implemented by the Manhiça Health Research Centre (CISM) since 2016, will start in July of this year, in the district of Quelimane, a strategy to transport the bodies of children (under 14) who died at the Quelimane Central Hospital (HCQ) to their respective communities, in hopes to reduce the body abandonment rates due to financial difficulties and provide disadvantaged families with the possibility of leading ceremonies worthy of their loved ones.
According to Ernesto Mussa, head of the Mandal locality, Maquival administrative post, in the district of Quelimane, which is more than 30 km from the city of Quelimane, “ It’s frequent for families not to claim the bodies of their loved ones, due to the lack of conditions to pay for the transport of the body or the urn fro the HDQ to the community. That's why we are satisfied with this initiative, which will help our communities perform proper funeral ceremonies significantly”.
Meanwhile, Edú Namarrogolo, Community Liaison Officer (CLO) of the CHAMPS project, states that this is a replica of the strategy that is currently being implemented in the district of Manhiça, Maputo province, and clarifies that “the strategy will be beneficial to the disadvantaged families that reside in the city of Quelimane, and whose financial incapacity is confirmed”. Namarrogolo, adds, “we will set up a circuit from the morgue to the families' homes, that is, as soon as the death of a child is confirmed, families without financial conditions, who are already instructed, will be able to contact the HCQ Social Welfare Services, who will in turn contact us (CISM) and once the family's financial incapacity to transport the body is confirmed, the CISM will pay the transport costs.”
Note that, the CHAMPS project aims to monitor and record vital events (births and deaths in under-fives as well as pregnancies), in order to produce reliable annual statistics on the above-mentioned events in the places where the program is implemented. The same is coordinated by Emory University, funded by the Gates Foundation, and this initiative includes 7 countries, namely South Africa, Mali, Kenya, Sierra Leone, Ethiopia, Mozambique and Bangladesh.
In Mozambique, the project is led by the CISM in partnership with the National Institute of Health (NIH), the National Institute of Statistics (INE), the Central Hospital of Maputo, the District Services for Health, the Women and Social Action of Manhiça, the District Hospital of Manhiça, the Provincial Directorate of Health of Zambézia, the Provincial Directorate of Social Affairs, the Zambézia Research Nucleus, the Quelimane Central Hospital.