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Post-training workshop for BHERTs in Medellin

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A post-training monitoring workshop for members of the Barangay Health Emergency Response Teams (BHERTs) of Medellin was held on January 8, 2021.

There were two batches.  The first batch was held in the function room of the MDRRMO Office while the second batch was held in the covered court of the Medellin Central School.

In the batch at the MDRRMO office, the participants came from Barangays Mahawak, Antipolo, Caputatan Norte, Don Virgilio Gonzales, Kawit and Luy-a, Dalingding Sur and Curva. They were composed of 17 barangay health workers (BHWs), three barangay nutrition scholars (BNS), one barangay councilor and two barangay tanods, for a total of 23 participants. In the batch in the Medellin Central School, the participants came from Barangays Lamintak Norte, Poblacion, Daanlungsod, Panugnawan, Canhabagat and Maharuhay. There weer 12 BHWs, 3 BNS, 7 barangay councilors, one responder and three tanods, for a total of 26 participants. A total of 49 participants was present in the two trainings.

As a background, BHERTS coming from 14 barangays of Medelllin were trained on September 3 and Oct. 16, 2020. They had their first post-training monitoring workshop on November 16, 2020. Since then, they were expected to continue to apply what they have learned during the training and there was a need to assess how much they have done so through another 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 had facilitated the delivery of continuity of access to essential health services during the COVID-19 pandemic.

During the activity, the members of the BHERTs in each barangay were grouped to discuss a post-training monitoring tool and filled it up, after which the results were presented in a plenary session regarding the performance of their functions as BHERTs.

During the presentation of the results, some participants said that the training they had on gender-based violence and adolescent concerns were very helpful to them. Since they had no more cases of COVID-19 for several weeks already, they were already relax in their monitoring work of contacts since there were no more contacts. Instead, they paid attention now to the problem of GBV and adolescent concerns. They were watchful of any news on domestic violence in their neighborhoods and if there were, they would call the attention of the Violence against Women (VAW) Officer in their barangay.

Also, if there were reports of teenagers becoming pregnant, they would tell their midwives to advise the teenagers to have prenatal check-ups in the health centers. The BHERTs who were also barangay health workers and barangay nutrition scholars continued to render essential health services as such, which included assisting their barangay midwives in the health services, registering patients who visited the health centers, taking their blood pressures, weighing the children, providing Paracetamol tablets to those who asked for them, and other services that they have been doing before the lockdown, since these services have already resumed in full blown degree.

The BHERTs finally agreed that there was a need to reach out to more individuals and continue to extend services for the communities. Additional information dissemination that the services in the health centers have already resumed was also seen as an activity that the BHERTs shall continue to do.

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