health, water and sanitation

Educating the educators

We fund the Busolwe Health Workers Association to run education programmes in a number of villages in the Butalela District. Cate Fairweather, a trustee of a little bit of HOPE in the UK reports on how we’re investing in the Health Workers to ensure they are as effective as possible…

Health workers association

Last month, a little bit of HOPE supported the Busolwe Health Workers Association by providing them with training to ensure that they are effective in the work that they do. The training was led by a District Health Education Officer and the District Improvement Focal Person, and they looked at communication skills, problem solving and community entry tips.

The training on communication skills taught the health workers about reaching the intended audience, attracting the attention of this audience and ensuring that they understand the message that is being brought. The key area of communication in this work that needs to be ensured is the belief and acceptance change which should lead to a change in behaviour. The main aim of the work of the Busolwe Health Workers Association is to teach individuals how to keep in good health and this will only be effective if they act on what they have heard and alter their behaviour accordingly. Therefore, this was an important teaching point for the health workers as it will underpin the success of their work.

Health worker trainingThe training on problem solving taught the health workers of the need to identify the problem, analyse it, develop solutions and then ultimately to test the solutions. They were then given training on how to enter communities effectively and work to solve the problems.  Health workers should approach communities via the village chairperson and the objective of a visit is to assess the urgent need of that community which should include collecting data, providing material and moral support for those affected, and assessing the extent of the problem. Following this, they were given tips for professional practice which included turning up 30 minutes prior to the arranged time, working out the objectives for the visit and sorting out the documents and material required in advance.

All of this training should enable the health workers to work in a more effective way whereby they can work with individuals by communicating effectively and use their learning on problem solving to identify and resolve problems which will enable the community to keep themselves in better health. Keeping in better health will not be the only benefit. If individuals’ are healthy then they will be more likely to access their education and support their families. Hopefully this small, simple step will give poverty another nudge!

Have you read the May edition of a little bit of news? If not, read it now!