61 new Community Health Workers for Region Nine

The Ministry of Health in collaboration with the Regional Democratic Council (RDC) of Region Nine, trained 61 persons to serve as Community Health Workers (CHW) in the region.

The initiative is part of government’s plan to improve primary health care services in the hinterland regions.

Minister of Health, Dr. Frank Anthony handing over certificate to the best graduating student.

At the graduation ceremony held Sunday at the Indigenous People’s Conference Hall, Lethem, Minister of Health, Dr. Frank Anthony, MP, said there has always been a challenge in getting health workers to serve in the interior regions. As such, government made the decision to ensure the regions are adequately staffed with health officers.

“One of the biggest challenges that we have had was to find people to work at these levels. And even after all these years, we still find it challenging…

Minister of Health, Dr. Frank Anthony along with the graduating class and other health personnel.

We have a health hut there, we have a health post there, but we don’t have anybody working there and that’s unacceptable…so, we have taken a decision that we are going to try especially in the interior of our country, to make sure that we have adequate personnel to start staffing the facilities that we have built,” Minister Anthony said. 

Dr. Anthony urged the graduating class to use the knowledge they gained to better serve their communities.

Regional Health Officer, Dr. Cerdel McWatt handing over certificate to one of the graduates.

He said in order to promote primary health care, they will be required to recognise health conditions in the early stages and be able to treat those conditions or make referrals for patients to receive higher health care services.

“So, when you return to your community, the expectation is that you will serve that community well. You are going to provide what we have trained you- to detect some of these conditions, health conditions and then if you cannot manage them there, then you at least would be able to recognise the health conditions and refer that person upwards so that they will be able to get the care.”

While congratulating the 2021 batch, the minister said they must be constantly learning to improve and grow in the health profession, as there will always be something new to discover.

Community Health Workers who graduated on Sunday

Meanwhile, Regional Health Officer, Dr. Cerdel McWatt said the CHWs will be the most qualified batch to ever serve the region.

“ I can assure the people of Region Nine will benefit from the most qualified group of CHWs that was ever trained thus far… And remember that you should be a servant of people …” Dr. McWatt said.

Also attending the graduation ceremony was Regional Chairman, Mr. Bryan