Posted on 4th February 2021 by Philippa Wilford
Our Community-Led Healthcare project is now in its third year, and over recent months the team have been working hard to develop and expand the programme.
They have produced some excellent health education resources and videos, which will be used and distributed in the community. The aim of these materials is to address some of the most important health needs villagers face by improving their understanding of general good health practices, with an emphasis on prevention and early detection. These resources will be a central focus for our outreach trips to the 21 target villages planned for this year.
In December the Health & Hope Health Team sent two medical teams into the first four villages. The objectives of this first outreach were to:
- Detail the package of care being offered to the village over the five outreach visits and introduce the project to the villagers;
- Support the Village Health and Social Welfare Committee (VHSWC) re-establish its vision, purpose and role within the community;
- Identify two Community Health Workers (CHWs) to train and establish in their role;
- Run health education programmes on key topics;
- Screen local community for vulnerable people such as those with non-communicable diseases or a disability.
Despite the nationwide restrictions in place due to COVID-19, the team were warmly welcomed by the villagers. The level of hospitality and the generosity shown was a humbling experience for the health team.
The community were fully engaged in every decision making activity, including the selection of CHWs, and keen participants of the health education activities. As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, many of the villagers were struggling with anxiety and fear when the health team arrived, but this was dramatically reduced during the teams visit. Individuals felt empowered to make changes that would improve their health and benefit not only themselves but others in their family and community too.
The villagers were overwhelmed that they had been chosen to receive such care and love though health education and other activities run by the team. This had never been done in their village before. The health education teaching was a huge success and the villagers were keen to practice their new found knowledge by making immediate changes. One such change was the establishing of designated waste bins in each of the villages to improve sanitation, waste management and protect their environment.
An elderly villager from Shar Oh village said: “No-one has ever come to stay with us to teach us about healthcare. No-one has ever cared for us enough to teach us how to look after our village health by keeping everywhere clean. We are going to be the cleanest village in Maraland.”
During each village outreach, the Health & Hope Medical Team ran a clinic to screen for non-communicable diseases and to address any immediate health needs. Medical supplies were brought from Hope Clinic in Lailenpi for use and distribution in the community.
The village children were also keen participants in the health education activities. The team had prepared a fun COVID-19 song and dance to be sung whilst washing their hands to encourage good hand hygiene. This proved to be an excellent way to engage them and encourage positive changes across all the ages groups.
Future plans for the project this year include five further outreach visits and two training workshops to be held in Lailenpi. Despite the current situation in Myanmar our work is continuing, although planned outreach visits have currently been put on hold until we can assess the situation and consider our best strategy for continuing to deliver services on the ground safely.
A collection of beneficiary stories from previous outreach visits can be found here.