The new cohort with the MedTreks trainers
Over the next two years, 2018 and 2019, we aim to implement a far-reaching community health worker program. We will train each of these neighborhood community health volunteers (primarily women) to be agents of change in their community. They will conduct outreach to homes, monitor women’s pregnancies, and ensure our schools are participating in healthy behavior.
Each of these NCHVs are equipped with a mobile phone. HopeCore has developed a mobile application for both data collection and training purposes. The NCHVs have, at their fingertips, a huge amount of health information that will support them as they offer services to the women in their community.
In January, HopeCore launched the above program to support the overarching maternal and child health program. We are so excited to share the details of the training of these health promotors. The training was offered over 6 days.
The training objectives for the 6 day training were 1) to have competent NCHVs; 2) To be the first line in combating poverty in the community; 3) To build connections with others in the community; 4) To explore the importance of partnership in improving community health.
Day 1: Introduction, purpose of NCHVs, HopeCore's objectives, governance of NCHVs within HopeCore's existing strutcutres, roles and responsibilities of NCHVs, leadership qualities of a community leader, communication skills, counselling skills.
The first session on the concept of NCHVs was a word visualization exercise where the participants were asked to say out loud the first words that came their minds upon hearing the words neighborhood community health volunteers. At this point the participants were already so eager to strategize and plan that the agenda be adjusted and we have more time for this sessions. The topics were well structured and captured the main basics that the NCHVs needed to know for the day.
Communications skills were greatly emphasized during this day towards focusing on the approach we give to our clients in the community, while delivering our services for the success of our programs. Qualities of a community leader were also echoed on day one training, considering the fact that our NCHV are the lead ambassadors who will act as change agents in our community through their leadership qualities.
Day 2: First Aid and CPR
On day 2 of the training, our neighborhood community health volunteers were trained by the MedTreks team. The trainees were very attentive during this session, after realizing that this is something that can be of help, not only in HopeCore but in the community and in their homes. Most of the trainees are parents and were very grateful to MedTreks Nurses for giving them an opportunity to learn how to handle most of the accidents at home or at work, through first aid and other emergencies.
Day 3: Preconception care, focused antenatal care, individual birth plans, breastfeeding, family planning
Day 3 started with a recap of the previous days in which the NCHVs remembered 95% of what they had previously covered. The topics here were of particular interest to the NCHVs and they have requested additional trainings on these topics.
Day 3: Nutrition, malnutrition, growth monitoring, deworming, and Vitamin A
The trainers used the morning sections to cover malnutrition, vitamin A and deworming, summing it up with a description of the HopeCore's health hotline. After lunch the trainers jumped to tackle growth monitoring and nutrition assessment, which took bit of time to show the practical part in growth monitoring and filling in the forms, which took much time for the trainees to comprehend the whole procedure. The trainees will need refresher trainings on how the NCHVs are doing the growth monitoring in the field.
Day 4: Introduction to sexual and reproductive health, STIs, HIV/AIDS & PMTCT, tuberculosis, youth counseling and referals, value clarification, data collection
Day 4 was very successful and we are expecting a great impact based on the training topics we trained especially on youth matters from the villages, churches, homes and community at large
Day 5: Malaria, diarrhea, oral rehydration therapy, coughs and colds, skin and eye infections
Today, emphasis was put on diarrhoea and oral rehydration therapy administration in order to curb the number of diarrhoea case in our community. Malaria was too emphasized and the importance of using a mosquito net was shown to be essential in curbing the spread of malaria.
Day 6: Water, hygiene, and sanitation, data application training
The NCHVs were trained on the importance of drinking clean water and encouraging hand washing in their communities. We discussed the impact dirty water and lack of hand hygiene can have on the health of children. Additionally, the mobile application for data collection and education was introduced, but there needs to be significant additional training on the application. This additional training will be done during the monthly refresher trainings that will come in the future.
The whole team looks forward to integrating these neighborhood community health volunteers into HopeCore's maternal and child health programming.
This year is the year of education at HopeCore which is why we have focused so heavily in describing the training in this report. We will have monthly refreshers for the NCHVs and will continue to build their knowledge base and skills. By empowering community members with health information we are stopping the spread of misinformation, acting as a resource to the community, and imbedding accurate health information providers in homes around Maara Sub county.