The community-based health program (CBHP) supported by the Asian Community Trust (ACT) in Japan in Brgy. Sto.Niño in San Miguel and Brgy.Caluasan in Dagohoy, Bohol is on it’s second year.
The project which started in April 2010 and continued for another year starting April 2011 aims to address the health needs of the farmers through the primary health care approach.
Basic health skills training for 12 CHWs of Caluasan was held. Topics included (1) basic health orientation, (2) basic anatomy and physiology, (3) nutrition and food supplementation, (4) management of common diseases, (4) basic first aid and, (5) guide to health campaign.
With the knowledge and skills they garnered in the trainings in the first and second years, the CHWs handled common illnesses such as upper respiratory tract infections or common colds, diarrhea, fever, gastritis, muscle and joint pains, tension headaches, and skin diseases with the use of herbal medicines, water therapy, ventusa, and over-the-counter medications such as paracetamol, antacids, oral rehydration salts, and common antibiotics. Cases that they cannot handle were quickly referred to the health centers or government hospitals for more specialized care.
Blood pressure monitoring was also conducted by the CHWs for identified hypertensive patients even as new cases of hypertension were screened in the series of operation blood pressure that the CHWs conducted. Hypertensive patients were also referred for further work-up for possible complications and associated illnesses such as heart diseases and diabetes mellitus.
The trained CHWs also continued to raise the health awareness of the people on disease prevention and health promotion through monthly health education classes and health services. Topics included home remedies for common ailments, nutrition, basic first aid, family planning and contraception, control of acute respiratory tract infections, and control of diarrheal diseases, among others.
A nutrition program is ongoing to address the malnutrition problem among preschool children in the two project areas. Malnourished children are given nutritious food while health information on nutrition is disseminated.
A family planning program was also launched in Caluasan, Dagohoy to address the unmet need for family planning which was identified in the community diagnosis survey conducted in the first year.
To ensure partnership with local government officials, the leaders and CHWs also paid courtesy calls to incumbent barangay officials.
Other activities for the rest of the year include health skills trainings for CHWs, special leadership skills training for the leaders of the farmers associations, continued monthly community education classes, regular community clinics and home visits by the CHWs, and networking with barangay councils, municipal governments and civic organizations in order to generate resources and promote their community-based health programs.
Since community participation is a hallmark of CBHPs, the people in the barangays have indeed strived hard to collectively work together to address their common health issues and problems through their CBHP.