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LandsAid project trains community health workers

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The Visayas Primary Healthcare Services, Inc. is continuing to implement a project
to develop community-based programs (CBHPs) in three barangays in north Cebu that were affected by Typhoon Yolanda.

With the support of the LandsAid, a German humanitarian aid organization, the 18- months project that started last May aims to provide health skills trainings and services to community health workers and residents in Barangays Dalingding Norte and Paypay in Daanbantayan and Tindog in Medellin.

The project works closely with the people’s organizations in the communities, namely, the Nakahiusang Kababayen-an sa Sitio Mayjo (United Women in Sitio Mayjo, Paypay), Nagkahiusang Lumolupyo sa Hacienda Gomez (United Residents in Hacienda Gomez, Sitio Gomez, Dalingding Norte), and the Nagkahiusang Lumolopyo sa Sitio Manan-aw (United Residents in Sitio Manan-aw) in Tindog, Medellin.

The first level of basic health skills was conducted on August and September for 37 community health workers of the people’s organizations in the three communities. The topics included the following, namely: (1) introduction about the Philippine health care system, (2) principles and practice of community-based health programs (CBHP) as a response to the people’s need for health care, (3) the principles and practice of primary health care as an approach, (4) simple home remedies to treat common ailments including herbal medicine, acupressure, cupping therapy, and water therapy, and (5) vital signs taking: blood pressure, weight, height, temperature, pulse rate and respiratory rate. Resource persons were staff of the VPHCS and invited doctors and nurse volunteers.

Medical kits were distributed to the CHWs during the trainings, consisting of sphygmomanometer, stethoscope, thermometer, weighing scale and first aid kit. Each area had five sets.

With the skills that they acquired, and with the guidance of the project staff, the CHWs were able to start giving very basic health services to their community residents such as taking blood pressure, weighing children, using cupping therapy for muscle pains, getting temperature of children with fever and advising mothers to increase water intake for common cough and colds and diarrhea.

Community health educations were also given to community residents by the project staff on the control and prevention of common health problems.

A staff development seminar on community-based disaster management (CBDM) was held on September 5 – 7. This was held since the project aims to develop community-based disaster management programs in the communities which are vulnerable to suffer adverse effects when disasters strike. There is a need to help the people to protect themselves and to face and respond to disasters before outside help arrives. The CBDM programs will prepare the communities to cope effectively at any time with both the impact and consequences of disasters, with little or no external assistance. Fifteen members of theVPHCS staff and volunteers had the trainings so that they can now teach the community residents about what they learned. A training for the officers, CHWs, and members of the disaster preparedness committees of the people’s organizations will also be held in the coming months.

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