42 trained CHWs graduate from six-month programme
DPI, Guyana, Wednesday, March 28, 2018
After being dormant for some time, the Community Health Workers (CHW) training programme which has been resuscitated, saw 42 persons graduating today.
The CHW 2017 to 2018 class commenced training on September 5, 2017, for a period of six months. The training was primarily based at the West Demerara Regional Hospital in Region Three.
A simple graduation ceremony was held for the batch partnering with the Division of Health Sciences and Education which has responsibility for training education aspects of the medical professional in Guyana.
Minister of Public Health, Volda Lawrence, in her feature address to the graduates and others in attendance, indicated that this group of CHWs will be able to make a significant impact on their region’s health sector once they apply the knowledge gained.
“It was recognised … that we (Ministry of Public Health) needed to improve and expand the delivery of healthcare services in our far-flung communities and that the best way to do so was by using the potential in each community so that easier access to our residence could be achieved,” The minister explained.
According to Minister Lawrence, these individuals have been carefully selected to attend to social and health-related issues within their respective communities. “Apart from acquiring the requisite skills and knowledge, you now possess the tools necessary for improving and maintaining quality service in your community and region. You are a part of your community, local and home-grown, you are familiar with the territory culturally and otherwise, as such you are the persons to make a difference in your communities.”
Further, the CHWs were urged by the Programme Coordinator, Petal Gordon, to not become stagnant but to always seek to elevate themselves, by acquiring more medical knowledge, becoming more experienced in their profession.
“I have coordinated this programme for five years and I have seen upward mobility with my students. Two of my Community Health Workers enrolled in the professional nursing programme and three in the single training midwifery programme.” Gordon said.
The first five months of this training programme focused on theoretical training accompanied by practical sessions which included topics such as Communication, Introduction to Health, Environmental Health, Anatomy and Physiology, Maternal and Child Health, Clinical Procedures, Personal Hygiene, Basic Nutrition, Growth Monitoring, Common Illnesses, Integrated Management of Childhood Illnesses, Healthcare Systems, Pharmacology, Vector Control and Health Promotion.
Practical orientation and other sessions were facilitated at several clinics at Health Centres along the Region Three coast and departments at the West Demerara Regional Hospital. Those engaged in the programme ranged from ages 17 to 34 from Regions One, Two, Three, Five, Six, Seven, Eight and Ten.
Of those who graduated, nine passed with distinction while an additional nine passed with credit. Best graduating student of the training programme, Delicia Budhu, of Yakasari, Black Bush Polder (Region Six) encouraged her colleagues to take pride in their work and be prepared to save lives.
“You have to have the passion for helping others. In healthcare, the quality of care we give our patients is of the utmost importance… because we must love what we do with that very deep passion to save lives,” Budhu said.
These graduates will join approximately 400 other CHWs who have been trained by the government to lend support to the country’s health sector.
By: Delicia Haynes