:Community Health Worker Program
Community Health Worker Program
COMMUNITY HEALTH WORKERS PROGRAM FOR VISEISEI SAI HEALTH CENTRE:
The Community Health Workers (CHWs) Program is in line with the Ministry of Health national work plan that is to be implemented at a national level. Viseisei Sai Health Centre is one of the first Public Health facilities to implement this project where 15 volunteers were chosen to be trained as health workers for their community. There were many who showed interest in the first few rounds of community meetings that were held 18 months ago.
Training, Attachment and Training Tasks:
The program was received with a lot of enthusiasm from interested people who wanted to give time to their individual communities. Key professionals were identified to train the CHWs in their area of expertise. Eventually 15 were identified and taken through a week’s training which was followed up by a four week attachment to identified public health facilities such as the;
- Golden Age Home,
- The Diabetic Clinic,
- The HIV & AIDS Hub Centre,
- The Mental Health Hope Centre,
- Lautoka Health Centre,
- Viseisei Sai Health Centre.
Part of the training requirements in their four-week attachment was to organise community programs which all of them executed fairly well. They especially showed their commitment and their interpersonal and organisational skills in working within the society. Vuda, a chiefdom is still very traditional in terms of its culture and customs, and going into the vanua (villages of Viseisei, Lauwaki, Lomolomo , Namara and Abaca) requires protocol and formalities. Witnessing the will of these individuals and their strength and stamina as Community Health Workers for the villages and settlements really is seeing another driving force for VSHC. Out of all the 15 community health workers 13 are women and only two are males who represent the community in Barara flats.
Even though the communities acknowledge that the Community Health Workers represent them, it is not always easy in actual practice. The VSHC team comprising of the Health Promotion Officer/Coordinator, 2 nurses, 2 Health Educators and the medical directors support the community health workers and work with them in whatever activities they do, so that the people can see that they play an important role in their communities.
The main aim here is that the people will be tuned into the importance of taking control of their own health.
Community Health Workers Initiatives:
The following programs were implemented by the CHWs with the assistance of the NCD and Health Promotion team of VSHC.
- Dreketi Healthy Cooking Program
- Lauwaki Young People’s Education Session at Salvation Army Centre
- Viseisei Village NCD Education Session in Vuda Back Rd (Delainadi)
- Viseisei Village Traditional Cooking Styles Session
- Barara Flats Healthy Cooking Style Session
- Dreketi Senior Citizens Celebration South Indian traditional Cooking Session
- Lomolomo Village Methodist Youth Fellowship NCD Education Session
- Viseisei Village Clean Up Campaign
- Lauwaki Village Vegetable Gardening Program.
- Volleyball sessions and walking
All these programs were implemented between September and early November 2012. Since then, the Community Health Workers have 'matured' and they are now being tasked to monitor diabetic patients. They have been trained and equipped with Glucometers to monitor the Diabetics in their areas. Their work is monitored regularly by the NCD Nurses through visits in their villages and settlements.
Viseisei Sai Health Centre is confronting a few burning issues and they are;
- Giving the responsibility for their wellness back to the community.
- Recognizing that the Community Health Workers are not another branch of the nursing cadre but that they are a unit whose work is solely for wellness promotion - that their work is being managed by the people and from the people, to the people.
SNAP is an intervention tool used by the Ministry of Health Fiji towards reducing NCD risk factors. The VSHC team has revised this tool as a consequence of lessons learnt in the field while working with the community. We have developed 3 Flipcharts to assist CHW’s in their efforts to educate the community. These flipcharts are on Wellness, Diabetes, and Hypertension. We have also developed a CHW logbook for monitoring the activities carried out by the CHW’s. www.viseiseihealth.org email@example.com
Community Health Workers meeting at VSHC in January 2012.
A Healthy Cooking session run by Community Health Workers.