Published on 08/01/2024

Urban Health Project

As part of its investment program, USAID/Senegal financed the Santé Urbaine (UH) project, implemented by a consortium led by PATH and other partners including OpenDev, AcDev, ASPS (Alliance du Secteur privé de la santé du Sénégal) and ENDA Santé.

This project aims to support key stakeholders in rethinking the urban health ecosystem and improving health status in :

- strengthening local urban health systems ;

- improving access to and quality of healthcare services;

- engaging the private sector, local partnerships and communities in identifying needs and developing and implementing innovative solutions.

ENDA Santé, a member of the consortium whose objective is to contribute to the achievement of intermediate result No. 4: Increased participation of communities and other stakeholders, has in its intervention strategy set up community health watch and alert committees in the districts of Guédiawaye, Yeumbeul and Keur Massar.

Key facts

  • almost 30% of Senegalese city dwellers live in informal settlements (undesirable neighborhoods);
  • difficult access to health services ;
  • overcrowded, unhealthy urban environments ;
  • Timid enrolment of the neediest families in mutual health insurance plans;
  • inadequate health services for adolescents and young people, particularly in the area of sexual and reproductive health (SRH);
  • insufficient health results (vaccination);
  • limited basic sanitation (drinking water, toilets, sewage, waste management),
  • vulnerabilities to climate change and emerging health threats, including the response to the COVID-19 pandemic;
  • maintaining essential health services during a health emergency.

Setting up community health watch and alert committees committees

As part of the Santé Urbaine project, ENDA Santé carried out surveys in 3 districts: Guédiawaye, Yeumbeul and Keur Massar, focusing on stakeholder mapping and community assessment of service provision . The results of the surveys provided evidence of the need to set up or revitalize community watch and alert mechanisms, in order to develop synergies of action with the NGOs working in the three districts to improve the supply and quality of care.

3 watch and alert committees were recently set up by the prefects of the Guédiawaye and Keur Massar departments, in collaboration with the Dakar regional health department and the districts of Guédiawaye, Yeumbeul and Keur Massar. The committees are made up of representatives of local elected representatives, Health Development Committees (CDS), community leaders, religious leaders, Bajenu Gox association leaders, leaders of youth associations, people with reduced mobility and civil society. A diversity of profiles that brings out new ideas and new collaborations for the benefit of community health.

The purpose of watch committees 

  • raise awareness of the USU project among local communities and partners (NGOs/OSCs/OCBs) to ensure greater ownership;
  • Establish a partnership with administrative and local authorities and NGOs/CSOs/CBOs for effective support in the implementation of USU project activities;
  • ensure community involvement in project activities and decision-making bodies (CDS);
  • strengthen community participation in health governance and decision-making concerning their health.

ARCOTS, Keur Massar organizes awareness-raising activities: tea-debates, cultural ceremonies where health issues are discussed. Now I can share experiences and information from the committee with the members of my association. This committee will certainly create a dynamic within the district. It will enable us to federate and pool our actions for the benefit of the district and its communities.

Ousseynous Beye, cultural actor and member of the ARCOTS association.
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