By Melavin Muthamaki
CHVs Key Tasks
- Pregnancy & Newborn
- How to recognize pregnancy danger signs
- Birth preparedness and developing a birth plan
- Refer pregnant mothers to ANC Clinics and ensure they attend at least 4 clinics
- Early Childhood
- How to take care of the sick child at home e.g. ORS administration
- How to spot danger signs e.g. bulging fontanelle
- Encourage service seeking behavior in an effort to ensure children complete immunization cycle
- Conduct growth monitoring
- Visit the newborn mother at home to counsel on breastfeeding, how to latch and the benefits of exclusive breastfeeding
- Encourage the use of long term treated mosquito nets
- Late Childhood (6-12 years)
- Ensure the children are enrolled in school
- Hygiene education to the children
- Encourage HPV Vaccination for 10-year-old girls
- Adolescence and Youth (13-24 years)
- Behavior change communication
- Supply of preventive commodities such as condoms
- How to seek healthcare especially on STIs- link up with youth-friendly services
- Adulthood (25-59 years)
- Behavior change communication
- Conduct community dialogue days where community members suggest ways to improve their community
- Promote gender and health rights
- Improve hygiene and sanitation by ensuring each household has a latrine and handwashing station
- Referral services e.g. for those who present with a cough
- Supply of preventive commodities
- Ensure all clients under TB medication are taking their medication
- Encourage HIV testing and use of ARVs for those tested +ve
- Encourage those with chronic illnesses to join support groups
- The elderly
- Refer for routine health checkups at least once each month
- Advocacy e.g. to have the government pay for insurance for all people over 60
- Management and rehabilitation of clinical problems i.e. home-based care
- Behavior change communication to reduce harmful practices
Overall Health Promotion
- Demonstrating a healthy diet for people at all stages in life in order to meet nutritional needs
- Providing guidance on social capital to ensure mutual support in meeting daily needs as well as coping with shocks in life
- Encouraging demand for health care and social entitlements as citizens
- Observing health status to ensure early detection of problems for timely action.
- Providing guidance on gender equity
- Encouraging emergency preparedness
Controlling communicable disease through behavior change, modification and formation of healthy practices (HIV/AIDS, STI, TB, malaria).
- Providing first aid such as Oral Rehydration Therapy.
- Demonstrating good personal hygiene in terms of washing hands, using latrines, etc.
- Ensuring access to water treatment for safe drinking water.
- Demonstrating and encouraging integrated vector control measures.
- Enhancing the prevention of accidents and abuse and taking appropriate action when they occur.
Family health services to expand FP, maternal, child and youth services
- Promoting Maternal-Child Health & Family Planning, maternal care, use of trained obstetric care, immunization, nutrition, community-based IMCI.
- Promoting improved adolescent reproductive health through household and community- based dialogue targeting behavior formation, modification, and change.
- Facilitating the organization of community- based day-care centers.
- Maintaining a community-based referral system, particularly for emergencies.
Hygiene and environmental sanitation
- Providing IEC for water, hygiene, sanitation, and school health.
- Demonstrating and promoting safe, effective disposal of excreta/solid waste.
- Improving water sources to ensure access to safe drinking water.
- Demonstrating and practicing good food hygiene.
- Demonstrating good personal hygiene.
- Developing kitchen gardens.
- Organizing community dialogue and health days
Care seeking and compliance with treatment and advice
- Training and supporting home caregivers.
- Facilitating the availability of and access to vaccines.
- Training caregivers to recognize signs of illness and on the need for a referral or seeking care outside the home.
- Encouraging compliance with recommendations given by health workers in relation to treatment, follow-up and referral.
- Ensuring every pregnant woman receives antenatal and maternity care services.
Governance and management of health services
- Attending and taking an active part in meetings to discuss trends in coverage, morbidity, resources and client satisfaction.
- Giving feedback to the service system either directly or through representation.
- Promoting community rights in health care.
- Ensuring that health care providers in the community are accountable for effective health service delivery and resource use, and above all are functioning in line with the Citizen’s Health charter.