110 village health workers (VHWs) have been trained under the Village Health Programme.
The need for village health workers was guided by the huge unmet need e.g of early recognition of malaria and its correct treatment with oral medicines.
We chose those villages which needed the curative role of the health worker most- this we chose the furthest villages first- those in the forest fringe villages or in the Achanakmaar tiger reserve villages
Literacy not as a criteria to be chosen as health worker, we thus decided to change the pedagogy to suit the neoliterates: but the chosen health workers had to be smart learners at least.
- criteria: a woman of the village who will visit everyone, represent everyone
- by village communities themselves
Village Health Worker training is conducted every month.
Role and Responsibilties
- Service delivery: first contact care for all common and important illnesses massive, for acute illnesses, and for follow up of chronic illnesses such as tuberculosis and hypertension
- Laboratory: slide making, RDK, urine pregnancy testing, vaginal infections, anaemia check, read tuberculins, water quality checks
- Drugs: 25 plus drugs
- Advice on health care seeking
- Health education: general, especially for adolescent girls
- Collecting key vital information for births, deaths and pregnancies
- Consults are honoured!, and feedbacks
- Health care needs are looked after, naina chaleesa is a support programme for presbyopic correction with glasses of appropriate power. Health workers who cross the age of 40 often need these glasses for fine work.
- Regular training, and skill checks through Objective Structured Question Evaluation, training materials are tailored to the needs of neo-literate health workers that depend on more doing, than seeing further than hearing
- Appropriate technology tools for health workers for aids in examination and in treatment besides laboratory testing.
- Reinvent the roles they can play
- Village Health, sanitation and Nutrition Committees are strengthened and supported to serve their role of community monitoring of health services and to additionally be a support team for the village health worker.
Incentives and Disincentives
- compensation for accompanying a woman for delivery or an illness,
- Otherwise it is for doing meetings
- Deduct for missing out on things, but this is uncommonly done
All of our VHWs have become highly knowledgable regarding the needs of their communities and are well respected.