The major killers of children - malaria, pneumonia, and diarrhea – can be cured easily if treated immediately. Muso makes sure quick treatment happens: Community health workers (CHWs) go door-to-door to detect sick kids early (“active case-finding”); those kids get immediate care at the house (“doorstep care”) or are taken straight to a clinic where Muso pays any fees required for care. Muso’s big innovation was to design a community health system around speed-to-treatment: In a rigorous trial in Mali their approach dropped child mortality by an astonishing 90%. The Muso model is the first that we’ve seen with a single-minded focus on the speed needed to prevent deaths. Their systematic “active case-finding” and “doorstep care” have influenced numerous organizations and could provide a huge boost to government CHW systems.
Muso is one of a bunch of primary healthcare organizations in Mulago’s portfolio self-organized into the Community Health Impact Coalition (CHIC). As individual organizations, they’ve each had outstanding impact and integration with their governments partners. But together they’ve created a movement that could be the impact jackpot. They speak with a louder voice when they call collectively for all community health workers to be salaried, skilled, supervised, supplied & incorporated into national strategies in order to achieve health for all.