health tips for women

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health tips for women

Community mobilization: A new approach to health tips for women

In 1994, ICDDR, B: Centre for Health and Population Research started a community development oriented health project called Chakaria Community health tips for women Project in Chakaria Upazila of Cox’s Bazar district Bangladesh. 

The community development approach or the CD approach emerged as a new concept in the development agenda during the last couple of decades. The CD approach assumes that the sustainability if a development programme depends largely of how much participation of general people is there in the design and implementation of a programmers are imposed on the community from the top level change agents who often ignore the need of a community as felt by its people. Felt heed of the administration is not necessarily the actual competition need of the community.

The CD approach serves to sensitive the people in the community and to facilitate the programmes undertaken with active participation of the people in the community, with financial or material assistance. The CD workers, while playing the role of facilitator, may also generate ideas for change but never impose that community against the will of the people as is done in the traditional top down development programmes.

The Chakaria Community health tips for women Project of the Center, mainly financed by a consormum of swiss, Dutch and Germari Red cross societies, is based on the above premise. Six unions surrounding the Project office near Chakaria upazila headquarters constitute the field site of the CCHP. The intervention unions are: Baraitali, Kayerbil, B.M. Char, Saharbil, Poschim Bara Bheola, and Kakra. Purba Bara Bheola has been selected to serve as comparison union in the impact studies being done in this conservative coastal belt of Bangladesh.

Activities and Achievements: Since its inception in 1994, the CCHP achieved a considerable success in mobilizing the intervention Communities toward self help for health. Baseline surveys were conducted in the intervention areas to collect information on disease burden, health knowledge and behavioral pattern of people, existing health facilities, and more importantly, to understand the social structures, including indigenous self help organizations (SHOs) or groups that are well rooted in the community and committed to serve as links between the people and the CCHP facilitators. The SHOSs include: local clubs, management committees for primary and secondary schools, colleges, madrashas, moktobs, temples, and the kinship and other social groups that play important roles in the process of diffusion and adoption of innovations. The baseline surveys also identified resource persons and opinion leaders in the intervention unions.

The total number of SHOs in the intervention areas, so far selected to work with the project is 203. The preliminary interest of the CCHP workers was to know whether these SHOs had health on their agenda prior to the baseline surveys. The maiden attempt of the CCHP workers was to discuss and incorporate health as an agendum in the myriad of activities of the SHOs in the intervention areas.

The efforts of the CCHP workers soon resulted in a widespread awareness of the need for their own health facility, other than the inadequate facilities offered by private practitioners, Government, and NGOs in the community. The outcome was the establishment of Village Health Posts at the initiative of people in the community.

Village Health Posts and CCHP: The village health Posts (VHPs) are rural health facilities established at the initiative of the villagers, without financial or material assistance. The CCHP plays an important role as facilitator in the process of establishing and also in the functioning of the VHPs (see diagram). After the baseline surveys, the CCHP workers initiated an exercise called Peoples Particularly Planning (PPP) in their intervention areas. These included workshops and group discussions with the local SHOs and training of the village health workers, midwives, and self help volunteers to make them ready for rendering medical services to the beneficiaries and working as key resource persons and the main social force toward sustainability of theVHPz.

The self help promotion instruments as shown in the diagram comprise a set of tools used by the CCHP for promotion of self help for health tips for women. These are: identification of target population and self help organizations, mobilization and motivation, identification of activities through participatory needs assessment and planning, education and training, resource mobilizations, management support, linkage with third parties, process extension and movement, monitoring and evaluation.

Feedback: The representatives of the Glimpse’s Editorial Board interviewed Chairperson Mr Jamaludin Ahmed, Vice Chair Mr Ariful Hoque, and General Secratery Mr A K Zillur Rahman of Jub Unnayan Parishad, a self help organization that runs a VHP at Muhoripaa of Kaiyerbil Union. Both reported that they were greatly motivated by the CCHP workers to establish this health facility of their own. Since this facility is the result of “relentless efforts by the CCHP workless” they invited ICDDR, B Director Prof. David A. Sack to inaugurate their VHP on 30 March, 2000.

They further reported that they received ‘invaluable’ input from the CCHP in terms of technical advice, training of the health workers and volunteers, and direct medical service by a qualified doctor once a week. The VHP is open seven days a week and is usually attended by paramedics and midwives duly trained by CCHP. A medical doctor from the Project attends the VHP once a week. According to the interviews, they foresee the Long term benefit from this health initiative. The Chairperson of Jubo Unayan Parishad said, “We have already landed on the moon with assistance from the Chakaria Project, and now we’ll start an expedition to Mars if ICDDR, B remains with us.”

The health post at Muhoripara created a poor fund to provide free medicines from their pharmacy among the poorest of the poor patients.

The Glimpse team also visited a similar Health Post at Purba Kakara Pahartali village of Kakara union. This VHP is run jointly by the Union Health Committee (UHC) and self Help Promotion Committee (SHPC). UHC representative Mr. Shaif Hossain and SHPC representative Mr. Nazir Ahmed expressed similar opinions as those at the Muhoripara health post.

Flight against Malaria and Dengue: The CCHP launched a programme called “bednet impregnation’ in some of its intervention in some of its intervention areas, including Kauyerbil and Kakara unions. It involves application of a simple technology of treating mosquito nets with deltamethrin to combat mosquitoes that cause serious diseases, like malaria, dengue etc.

The CCHP has by now arranged several sessions of mass impregenation of bednets on dates duly fixed through mike announcement in the area. People’s participation in the programme is reported to be encouraging.

After interviewing a number of beneficiaries of the programme, it clearly appeared that the technology is rapidly gaining popularity in the area. Studies on the impact of bednet impregnation, i.e. reduction in the population density of mosquitoes and prevalence of diseases caused by them, are in progress. The Chakaria Community health tips for women Project holds the view that on achieving self reliance, the villagers will no longer depend on the support of the Project, and it can phase out the plan of interaction.

The project has successfully activated the interpersonal channels of communication within the communities, and this will act as the guiding force toward sustainability of such health tips for women related activities. The Chakaria Model has the potential to be replicated throughout the country.


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