Jocelyne Razafindrasendra, 41, community health worker in Soamonina village, Madagascar
Jocelyne is a community health worker in the rural village of Soamonina, situated in the highlands of central Madagascar and around 10km from the nearest health centre. She lives and works in a community of around 1750 inhabitants who have minimal access to health services. Jocelyne’s main role is to raise awareness of health programmes including vaccination campaigns against Maternal and Newborn Tetanus, supported by the Pampers and UNICEF “1 pack + 1 vaccine” campaign.
Jocelyne covers a radius of 4km, walking door-to-door to advise women, mothers and mothers-to-be in her community of the importance of life-saving vaccines against fatal diseases.
Jocelyne, who also works as a farmer in the village, is passionate and committed to helping women and their newborns stay healthy. Every month she attends a meeting at the nearest health centre, 3 hours walk from her home, to make sure that every pregnant mother in her village has received the course of vaccines against Maternal and Newborn Tetanus during the required stages of pregnancy. If a pregnant woman has missed a vaccine, Jocelyne will visit her house and encourage her to attend the next vaccination day at the centre, often accompanying her on the walk there.
As a community-member all of her life and mother of four and grandmother of one, Jocelyne has seen and experienced the challenges that women in the rural villages face, including the long distances along uneven terrain to the nearest health facility, which can often force women to give birth at home in unsanitary conditions with only a traditional birthing attendant present.
The Pampers and UNICEF “1 pack + 1 vaccine” campaign has funded vaccination programmes in Madagascar helping to eliminate the disease across the country. Despite helping to eliminate Maternal and Newborn Tetanus in a total of 15 countries, including Madagascar, there are still an estimated 100 million women and their newborns in 24 countries who are still at risk from the fatal disease.
Written by Georgina Thompson, UNICEF