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Capacity development of community health workers in Dawasamu District

Article by Cheryl Martin

Cheryl Martin

Posted: December 29, 2020

GVI Dawasamu Fiji Health Programme began in January 2018 the long-term objective to assist the local District Nurse on the health issues concerning the District of Dawasamu in accordance with the Ministry of Health’s annual objectives for this District. One area GVI-Dawasamu focuses on the capacity development of community health workers.  Community health worker (CHW) is a community liaison between the village they live in and the district nurse. The CHW is trained to provide basic first aid and direct community members to the District Nurse as needed. 

Role of the community health worker

CHW focus on informing the village about various issues that affect them and relay feedback to the district nurse about concerns such as an infection outbreak or a sick elderly person. CHW minimise the challenges that may arise due to the lack of access to health services and/or lack of transportation.  The main goal of the project is to support the functions of District Nurse La that are essential for both productivity and improving health and wellness.  GVI provides support to increase the self-efficacy of 14 community health workers (CHWs) to be productive health providers within their communities that span between Dawasamu District and Bureiwai District.

It is well-established that the CHWs are crucial to both optimizing quality of care and addressing increased patient volume.  GVI aides in human resources management and supporting CHW service delivery and encourage District Nurse role in continuous learning opportunities for her staff. All efforts aim to achieve the vision “The best medicine of all is to teach people not to need it.” 

Data collection

We are currently focusing on compiling data the District Nurse and CHWs have collected through their patient registrar and transfer into pivot tables to produce a data analysis report.  For the District Nurse, the report allows her to examine the data more easily to identify the root causes of common infection cases for strategic disease intervention. The report helps CHWs to prioritize their preventive health measures by identifying their top infections within their village and conducting targeted public health interventions.

 The District Nurse submitted a proposal to the Ministry of Health for a computer for her nursing station, the great news is this as been approved and awaiting delivery which will enable us to continue the data project without relying on the GVI laptops which is a huge step towards sustainability.

Valuable resources

The District nurse and the CHW’s form a team that together works hard to establish and maintain an environment that promotes positive well-being by providing information, activities, and assistance designed to support healthy life choices within their communities. We would like to thank all donors who have contributed to our “Dawasamu Health Project” in Fiji. By working in partnership with the District Nurse and involving the Community Health Workers the overall main goal is ensuring that these projects are sustainable, through up skilling, creating resources that are easy to use and get the message across through interactive activities and bring in the opportunity to have discussions and increase the communities understanding through education.

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