During this quarter, major of the Awash Women and Children Health Support Project activities implemented in the district are providing a capacity building training for Traditional Birth Attendants (TBAs) that are used as a local health prompter, provision of training on Community Conversation for Health Extension Workers (HEWs), conducting Community Conversation at village level, conducting public education on market places and Provision of Drugs for rural health institutions.
1. Organize Capacity Building Training for Traditional Birth Attendants (UTBAs)
During labor, pregnant pastoral women often prefer to be assisted by TBAs even in places where there are a nearby intuitional health facilities because it makes them feel secure in the child delivery.
Through a range of training methodologies employed, and using a training manual which was prepared and presented based on the national health policy, it was able to train 15 TBAs.
TBAs were able to learn about the types of mal- presentation, prolonged labor, obstructed labor and excessive blood loss, how to refer patients to the nearby health facilities before complications, how to identify danger labor signs.
2. Training for Exiting Health Extension Workers (HEW)on Community Conversation
Health Extension Workers (HEW) are permanent government employees working in the rural Ethiopia with the tasks of accomplishing seventeen health package designed under the health strategic plan of the country. The government has employed and is trying to implement the health extension program at grass-roots level. For very remote areas like Afar and particularly Awash, the number of HEWs is less than the demand because of lack of educated people and the insufficient monthly payment compared to the tasks given to them. AISDA is using these community health actors with additional incentive on top of their salary to actively work in the facilitation of Community Conversations. As CC facilitators, these potential actors of the project needed to be capacitated through refresher training so as to improve their practical skills. Hence, seven days of CC facilitation training was provided for 11 HEWs (all women).
The concept, objectives, principles, & outcomes of CC; Framework of the strategic direction of CC; Reproductive Health & Harmful Traditional Practices: Definition of traditions & Common HTPs prevailing in the glob; FGM: definition & facts and figures about FGM; The historical & cultural context of FGM; and The practice of FGM: Health risks and complications of FGM were the topics covered.
3. Community conversation (CC)
As part of the community mobilization campaign, Community Conversation (CC) is a very important tool that served as a main vehicle for bringing key sexual reproductive and maternal & child health interventions to the community. It was also important to bring key stakeholders like HEWs, TTBAs, Religious leaders, clan leaders and other influential bodies together in one place and enabled to discuss common problems and find solutions using their own capacity and resources. As CCs resulted in a significant improvement in the community's awareness during the first phase of this project, similar activities were planned as part of the project to facilitate village level community discussions through attracting as many people as possible. Hence, through covering the essential expenses of the CC s, constant facilitation and technical supports, it has been able to support the local people to come together and discuss their major concerns in relation to the consequences of FGM , early marriage, child health, pregnancy and ante natal cares and HIV/AIDS in a regular manner.
4. Public Education on Market Places
A megaphone supported announcement against female genital mutilation and other related cross cutting issues that threaten the lives of communities were conducted in market places (Awash town and Sabore) where too large community members from different social back ground come together. It has been able to conduct 16 rounds of announcements in both market places at Awash town and Sabore.
5. Provision of Drugs for rural health institutions
Availing basic medical equipment and drugs to rural health institutions is crucial to improve the quality of their health service provision, which in turn enhances the health service utilization of the community.
In cognizant of this, and with the request of the district health office, drugs like Amoxicillin syrups, Amoxicillin tabs, cloxacilling sodium, mebndazol and chromophnicals were distributed to five rural health institutions.
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