At Grounds for Health, we recently developed a new community health promoter (CHP) training curriculum that we will be implementing for future health promoter trainings. It includes simple text and user-friendly, descriptive images that health promoters can use as a job aid when sharing life-saving information with their peers.
In early January 2012, I joined In-country Program Coordinator Annah Kichambati, MD to work with her in Kilimanjaro Region, Tanzania. Here Grounds for Health has begun a new partnership with Kili Cafe and the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation to establish a cervical cancer prevention program. During a four-day training of 15 new health promoters, we field-tested Grounds for Health’s new curriculum for the first time. Once the materials are completed, they will be translated into both Swahili and Spanish to use at all of our current sites as we train new promoters.
The promoters-in-training were eager participants, singing and clapping intermittently as they interacted with the material and information, Grounds for Health staff, and each other. Dr. Annah’s morning ‘quizzes’ tested their knowledge each morning and their responses demonstrated that they had mastered the information shared each day. The troop of new community health promoters ended the week with big smiles and enthusiasm to share what they’d learned among their village members.
Two weeks after the initial training, the health promoters gathered again for a pre-campaign meeting. They met with Dr. Annah and were also greeted by Ellen Starr and Rebecca Singer who are in Tanzania for the training of doctors and nurses and community screening campaign. The promoters were extremely successful in their first recruitment. More than 480 women had registered for the community screening campaign.
Clearly, the initial enthusiasm of the newly certified community health promoters has translated into effective messaging and community mobilization. Grounds for Health trainers and the local doctors and nurses will be very busy over the coming days of the clinical training and community screening campaign!