CHW Supervisor Enables Faster, More Effective Patient Care
At 25 years old, Massiran Samaké is one of Muso’s newest—and youngest—CHW Supervisors. With a Masters degree in Sociology, she manages a team of 19 CHWs who each conduct proactive door-to-door case finding visits in separate zones in Yirimadjo. Each zone is a tangle of red dirt roads, mud brick houses, and the occasional corner store oasis, blasting cool desert blues from out of crispy old speakers.
“Helping people makes me happy,” she beams while stepping through another sunbaked doorframe on today’s rounds. In Mali, doors are always open: for passers-by to exchange a greeting, for vendors to pitch one last sale before lunch, or in this case, for our CHW Supervisors to conduct patient-feedback surveys. Supervision improves CHW performance, and better-performing CHWs will save lives.
“I always knew I wanted to work in the social services,” Massiran decides after pausing to reflect, “but I didn’t know I would work for an NGO.” In 2009, while an undergraduate student at the University of Bamako, she got her first taste of the public sector through an internship with the National Directorate for Social Protection and Economic Solidarity (NDSPES). Here she helped Bamako’s most economically vulnerable community members unwind the maze of bureaucracy that often excludes them from desperately-needed social services.
“Resources exist for these people, but they don’t know that they exist, nor do they have any idea how to find them,” she explained of her work. Then after the military coup in 2012, Massiran helped coordinate the distribution of relief services to many thousands of displaced people who fled northern Mali to seek safety.
As a CHW Supervisor, Massiran gathers her team every week to discuss challenges encountered in the field and updates to protocol. She also compiles weekly CHW data, such as how many houses CHWs visited, how many sick children they saw, the number of pregnancy tests administered, and the number of clinic referrals written.
Today, however, Massiran will visit multiple households without the CHWs she supervises, in order to more candidly assess their performance. Through both casual conversation and predetermined questions, Massiran will get a better sense of each CHW’s performance. This is often information that quantitative data can’t compute: how well informed are patients about the healthcare services available to them, and how do they think their zone’s CHW can improve their performance?
After these visits, Massiran accompanies each CHW for direct observation of their home visits, and provides feedback in a one-on-one meeting.
“My role isn’t to punish the CHW, but to support them in becoming more efficient.” High-performing CHWs reach sick patients faster and connect them with care that saves lives. Massiran’s work is an important element of Muso’s proactive care system, helping ensure that patients knows care is available to them.