Community Health Workers on the Frontlines of COVID-19 Response
Written by Ari Rasori
Community Health Volunteers are going to be critical in the movement towards helping to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 spread. In places where resources are limited and healthcare systems are already stressed, the use of Community Health Workers will be critical in helping to educate the community and training families on key prevention measures.
Over the past week, MedTreks and HopeCore have collaborated on created a comprehensive COVID-19 Toolkit which includes training materials, presentations, flipcharts and resources on COVID-19.
The idea with this toolkit is to provide useful information for other public health programs in resource-limited areas of the world, to help strengthen their community health workers’ response. This is a free and open-sourced resource that we are excited to share with other programs who are faced with many different COVID-19 challenges.
What is in the COVID-19 Toolbox?
Over the next few weeks, our strategy to scale up Community Health Volunteer training and Education on COVID-19 response is as follows:
Train up to 600 Community Health Volunteers in our county using the Training Slides created by HopeCore. We will be training groups of 10 Community Health Volunteers at a time to comply with the Government’s suggestion of restricting gatherings to less than 10 people. The training will be held outdoors and all participants will be spread out with at least 6 ft of distance between each other. We will offer hand washing stations with soap at each of the stations.
Each Community Health Volunteer will be equipped with a COVID-19 Education Flip Chart to bring into their communities to help educate on COVID-19. The Flip Chart was designed specifically so that the pages and illustrations are large enough to view from a safe (6ft) distance. The Flip Chart is a teaching aid for the Community Health Volunteers to show community members about the key symptoms of the virus as well as the important behaviors that help prevent the spread of the disease.
Lastly, we will be doing daily follow up with the Community Health Volunteers through the use of a smartphone App that HopeCore Public Health Team designed via CommCare. As part of our Community Health Worker Training Program, each CHW/CHV has been provided with a Smartphone from HopeCore. HopeCore will be utilizing this technology throughout the coming weeks to help educate Community Health Volunteers on updates of COVID-19 and also help with the triage of sick villagers as needed.
We hope that this Toolkit we designed will be useful for other programs in resource-limited areas of the world.
Thank you for your continued support of our program!
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