The realities of accessing healthcare in Madagascar are likely a lot different from what you have experienced.
The majority of the population in Ifanadiana District live at least a 5 mile walk from the nearest health facility. Before PIVOT began work to strengthen the public health system, many would seek medical care only in the most dire situations. Those who did seek care at a health center or hospital often faced a series of daunting challenges. On top of being sick, patients would be sent away to purchase the supplies necessary to facilitate their own treatment – from bedding and food to medications and IV bags – which most people could not afford. A system of support was nearly non-existent, and patients struggled to overcome the obstacles related to cost, logistics, and lack of information.
This is where PIVOT’s Social Support Team comes in. To address all of the above and more, our dedicated team of social workers have been an integral part of our health care delivery model since the beginning.
At PIVOT, we see patients as more than their diagnosis.
Patients are people with lives, work, families, and homes. When a person becomes sick, they often need more than just medical treatment. Illness can extend beyond the physical to the emotional, logistical, and financial. This is true anywhere, but especially in remote rural areas such as Ifanadiana District.
Our social workers’ primary function is to identify and remove a patient’s barriers to care, be they geographical (living a many hours’ walk over challenging terrain from the nearest health center), social (having to leave other children at home while journeying with a sick child to seek care), financial (living on less than $2/day and not having cash on hand to pay for care), or otherwise.
The Social Support Team’s activities center around doing whatever it takes to address each person’s unique circumstances. They make home visits, reimburse transportation fares, ensure patients understand their treatment options, and much more.
We believe all people deserve access to quality health care, and the PIVOT Social Support Team makes that vision a reality.
But why is this social support work urgent now?
As a result of our work in Ifanadiana District, the rate at which patients are accessing health care services is ever-increasing. Community Health Workers are treating and referring more expectant mothers, sick children, and TB patients to our health facilities every day.
That means we are providing more support for more patients and their families, and we are committed to meeting the needs of the whole person, not just their illness.
This past year, the Social Support Team provided:
• 25,000+ meals to patients and families during hospitalization
• 6,200+ transportation fares to and from care
• 2,400+ patients with meals, transportation, and counseling in navigating the health care system
Meet Claudia, Saturnin, and Zino Marcel.
What does it look like to have the PIVOT Social Support Team on your side? Scroll through the photos above for stories about how the team has made a specific impact in the lives of three individuals. Their experiences represent thousands of others whose lives have been touched by the Social Support Team since 2014.
How your donation helps support our patients’ social needs:
The PIVOT Social Support Team takes on cases like those of Claudia, Saturnin, and Zino Marcel every day. Your donation will directly support our social workers’ activities, in turn benefitting the patients they serve.
The kinds of things the Social Support Team does to help patients cost very little, but they make all the difference:
• $5 covers transportation for a patient to get to and from a health center appointment
• $7 provides essential supplies to mothers who have just given birth (soap, mosquito net, linens, and a blanket)
• $10 covers roundtrip transport to the district hospital or facilities outside the district when a patient is in need of specialized treatment (e.g., complicated deliveries)
• $29 covers a week’s worth of meals for a patient and their accompanying family members during hospitalization
• $56 covers the cost of a week-long stay in a private hospital room during periods of intensive treatment and recovery (e.g., patients undergoing chemotherapy)
• $102 covers the cost of materials for 6 mass community education events on key health behaviors (e.g., oral hygiene, hand-washing, etc.), reaching hundreds at the primary school level
• $378 covers the average logistical costs required for a social worker to accompany a patient to care in Madagascar’s capital city, Antananarivo
• $1,052 covers the cost of one year of trainings for the Social Support Team’s professional development
More broadly, your gift supports a range of activities that our social workers are responsible for carrying out. Those include:
• orienting patients to the public health system and brokering relationships with clinicians as needed;
• making home visits, from standard follow-up visits to welfare checks on patients who have stopped showing up for scheduled treatments;
• ensuring food and housing for families who have traveled long distances to accompany their loved ones while they receive care;
• sensitizing communities – in schools, health facilities, and remote communities – about key health issues ranging from safety during epidemics to oral hygiene; and
• issuing reimbursements for services received, from prescriptions to surgeries to transportation fares.
Reaching our goal of $25,000 will allow PIVOT social workers to improve and expand their vital services for the remainder of 2018.
Thank you for joining us in support of this life-giving work!