The Visayas Primary Healthcare Services, Inc. equips community health workers (CHW) and leaders of people’s organizations with knowledge and skills to respond to the basic health needs of their communities through health promotion, disease prevention and selective curative process.
Many health problems, mostly common illnesses can be readily managed and prevented in the community level through active people’s participation and involvement. Volunteer CHW are trained to provide simple relevant health information to families, conduct health education classes on common health problems and provide services using herbal medicine, water therapy, acupressure, ventusa and basic Western medicine.
The basic health skills trainings (BHST) topics consist of basic health orientation, concepts of health and disease, vital signs taking (blood pressure, respiratory rate, pulse rate and temperature), home remedies, herbal medicine, control of acute respiratory infections, control of diarrheal diseases, ventusa, nutrition, environmental sanitation, immunization, basic anatomy and physiology, simple history and physical examination, maternal health, and common diseases like hypertension, diabetes and tuberculosis.
Leadership skills are also rendered to the CHWs in order to manage community-based health programs in their areas. Guidance of health committees of the people’s organizations, monitoring of the skills and practicum of the trained CHWs are also provided.
Aside from trainings, the VPHCS conducts health educations in the communities to raise the awareness of the residents on common health problems and enable them to take appropriate actions without necessarily seeking medical attention. Adults and adolescents alike participate in the health educations. Topics include control of acute respiratory tract infections and diarrheal diseases, nutrition, environmental sanitation, dengue fever, herbal medicine, family planning and safe motherhood, and other common health issues that are relevant to the communities.
Services are rendered by trained CHWs in the communities, which include home visitations, health information dissemination, blood pressure monitoring of the residents, growth monitoring of preschoolers, home remedies for common illnesses, herbal medicine processing and dispensing, and nutritional rehabilitation of malnourished children.
Building and strengthening local capacity has become more urgent with the advent of the national and global trend on health which emphasizes user-fee services and privatization of government health service agencies in the face of the people’s worsening poverty that severely incapacitates them to pay for health care.