JSI RESOURCES: Publications

Madagascar Technical Brief – Reaching Madagascar’s Community Health Volunteers with Critical Information During COVID-19 Using Interactive Voice Response


On March 20, 2020, Madagascar reported its first positive COVID-19 case. By May 31, 2020, the MOPH reported 790 confirmed COVID-19 cases, with 616 in treatment and six deaths. Mahefa Miaraka played an active role in the Government of Madagascar’s (GOM) COVID-19 epidemic response efforts at the national, regional, district, and community levels in coordination with other technical and financial partners.
During the 2017–2018 plague epidemic and the 2018–2019 measles epidemic, Program-supported community health volunteers (CHVs) spearheaded the community epidemic responses in collaboration with village and commune leaders and staff at the local basic health center. Much of this collaboration took place during monthly review and coordination meetings at health centers, where large numbers of CHVs and community leaders gathered to conduct planning, coordination, and review of activities.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, these gatherings were no longer an option, and travel restrictions barred the possibility of on-site supervision of CHVs. In response to these challenges, Mahefa Miaraka coordinated with Viamo, a global social enterprise, to develop Interactive Voice Response (IVR) learning modules. These modules contained information on COVID-19 response activities that could be delivered via mobile phone to CHVs, village heads, and health center staff in lieu of monthly meetings. Community actors and health center staff participated in IVR distance learning activities from October 2020 to January 2021.. 

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