One of the last things we did in Naigobya was facilitate a 2-day training session for our brand new community health workers! While conducting our baseline, it became painfully obvious that the number of CHWs was way too small to effectively cover the entire project area. For example, in Bukooma parish, 2 CHWs were covering 12 villages! So when the favorable exchange rate allowed us to make a couple of additions to the budget, more CHWs were on the top of our list. Now, the project has a total of 25 CHWs, which is still far off from the 37 necessary to ensure that each village has 1 CHW, but still much better than the 14 we were working with before!
Selection was performed by first, asking Monic, a trusted CHW, for a list of recommendations of prospective CHWs. We then paid each individual on the list a surprise visit at their compound, in order to evaluate the sanitary and hygiene conditions of their home and conduct an interview to ensure that they would be a good fit for the project.
Learning from frustrations over a lack of productivity and efficacy during the last CHW training, Alena and I were determined to make this one count. This time, in order to make the material easier to digest, we had Tom write out important points on to large flip charts in Lusoga. Also, wanting to maximize opportunities for peer-to-peer teaching, we recruited CHW Monic to lead large portions of the training. In addition, we included as much hands-on activity into the training as possible, including a cooking demonstration, a tippy-tap construction demonstration, and a model garden tour, in order to keep participant engagement levels high throughout the two days. Finally, we made sure to cover extensively topics that we had discovered were common problem points in the community while conducting the baseline survey.
Our preparations and the intellectual curiosity of all of the new CHWs allowed the training to be a great success. Having the opportunity to organize this second training at the end of our stay in Naigobya was incredibly rewarding, as we were able to showcase all that we had learned throughout our experience. After conducting pre and post training evaluations, we’re so happy to announce that scores increased across the board, and we are incredibly excited to see what these amazing new CHWs will accomplish out in the field!