A total of 35 members of the Barangay Health Emergency Response Team (BHERTs) and other government employees of Medellin attended a post-training monitoring last November 16, 2020 at the Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (MDRRMO).
The BHERTs are from Barangays Poblacion, Kawit, Lamintac Norte, Panugnawan, Antipolo, and Luy-a. There were 23 barangay health workers, 7 barangay nutrition scholars, one tanod, and four others, for a total of 35 participants.
The Visayas Primary Healthcare Services, Inc. organized the forum as part of the project supported by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) on COVID-19 response.
The participants were trained on September 3, 11 and October 16 on their roles and functions, infection prevention and control, risk communication and community engagement, gender-based violence, adolescent concerns and water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH). Since then, they are expected to apply what they have learned during the training and there is a need to assess how much they have done so through a post-training monitoring activity.
The activity determined the composition and functionality of the BHERTs, monitored their performance on navigating and listing of contacts, monitoring and reporting of close contacts, monitored their information dissemination of COVID-19 related issues, and monitored how they have facilitated the delivery of continuity of access to essential health services during the COVID-19 pandemic.
There was a workshop composed of groups, with each barangay composing a group. Each group filled up a monitoring tool on the points of monitoring. Then, the leader of the group presented the results of the post-training monitoring tools and shared their experiences with the plenary session regarding the performance of their functions as BHERTs. They also made action plans on how to improve their services.
Each barangay has one BHERT with an average number of eight members of nine. All of the BHERTs said that they know their roles. With close contacts in home quarantine, they monitor them once or twice a day using the Signs and Symptoms Log forms. They also used the Contact Line List Form to identify the close contacts. After the 14 days quarantine of the close contacts without recorded signs and symptoms, the BHERT reported them immediately to the barangay captain.
The BHERTs also did home visits of the close contacts when they are sure to observe the health protocols. The BHERTs also considered information dissemination as an important process in the fight against the spread of COVID-19. To ensure this, the BHERT made use of SMS and social media to deliver vital information about the virus and how the community can battle against it together. Face to face discussion was also done but rarely and while observing COVID-19 minimum health standards. For essential services stated in the monitoring form, they performed TB-DOTS services, weighing of children, giving of medicines to the elderly, and deworming of children.
The participants committed to continue to disseminate information to all people to observe the health protocols, especially now that there are reports of increased cases of COVID-19 in the province.