Dear Friends and Supporters of MAITS Community Health Worker project in Pakistan,
The Community Health Worker programme has been moving along. Your funding has enabled us to do two key things:
1) Provide training to master trainers on working with community workers and children with disabilities to support them in their own homes
2) For those master trainers to train the community workers and provide them with ongoing support and guidance in working with families.
As a result of your funding, the community workers are being trained and some have completed the training. As an additional activity, two of the master trainers were able to support and deliver further training in Sri Lanka as a result of the skills they had learnt through this project. Here is a bit more detail about our most recent achievements.
Training conducted and Community Workers starting to support families directly
We are conducting training through 10 Master Trainers (Physical, Occupational, Speech Language & Psycho therapists) from health care institutes. Thanks to your support, 6 of these master trainers were trained in the initial training and a further 4 have since been trained.
These 10 master trainers are currently training a team of 13 Community Health Workers in Karachi. As these Community Health Workers are part of the same communities and have direct interaction with families therefore they can provide support and knowledge to the families with disabled children in their own language and in keeping with the local context. It also means the project is sustainable as we are building skills within the community.
The teams have reported back that through the training sessions, the level of knowledge and competency as well as the Community Workers levels of confidence and awareness of child health and development have increased.
The Community Workers we have trained are already conducting home visits in communities and are helping and training families to develop skills which are needed to support their children with disabilities so each child can function and adjust in environment independently (in immediate family, and society). That will create awareness and acceptance of children with disabilities in the community.
At the moment 3 Community Health workers have completed training in one health care institute and they are working in community. Further 10 motivated Community Workers from another institution are in final stages of training and they will be fully trained and supporting families in the field with families with children with disabilities in Karachi from April 2019. (They are having to do the course over a longer period of time to fit around the time they need to spend working in the field).
The master trainers from Pakistan have also been using the skills they learnt as part of this project to train others in Sri Lanka
In addition to the training that has been carried out in Pakistan, two of the master trainers who have been running the programme in Pakistan used the skills they learned as a result of your funding, to support Dr Shabnam Rangwala, one of the co-authors of the training programme to deliver training in Sri Lanka under a separate project.
I went along to observe the training and meet the two master trainers from Pakistan, Aasiya Sachwani and Ali Punjani whose training was inspiring and informative. Together these three trainers trained 35 midwives and social workers who work in the field directly with children with disabilities. The feedback we had from the participants was that they had learnt so many skills and techniques for supporting children with disabilities on issues such as feeding, positioning, building muscle strength and developing speech. But they also said that what they had taken away from the training was a change in mind set that meant that they would see the children's potential much more and would work with them to develop this.
You can see video clips of the training where we worked directly with children and families on MAITS_Charity Twitter and Facebook. (See links below).
You can also read more about the background of the project on pages 15 and 16 of MAITS' annual report:
Thank you so much once again for your support for MAITS' Community Health Worker project.