Full Test Run for the CHW Program in Kuria, Kenya

The Devil Is In the Details

Optimism, a tendency toward type-A activity, and the start-up nature of our endeavor has led the Healthcare program to put the cart before the horse on more than one occasion. For instance, we hosted mobile clinics without considering the longevity of that that type of approach, then we launched the CHW program relying on the National Strategy curriculum and structure, rather than fully developing a Nuru-ized pilot plan.

However, as mentioned last week, these growing pains offered us the welcomed opportunity to learn what the planning process should entail right down to the nitty-gritty. We’ve recognize our lack of detail orientation and are pleased to announce we are dedicating the next 12 months to just that.

In saying so, all has not been lost while recently staying focused on the bigger picture. We have now designed solid systems that will enable the job to be done right once the nuts and bolts are in place. These include the commodity sales inventory tracking system and monitoring structure for Field Officers to mentor and evaluate CHW’s. Now it is time to develop the meat.

We’ve got our maps. We’ve divvied up our households. We know how to account for goods coming in and going out. Now we need a methodical approach for teaching the details and a toolkit to facilitate the application of these skills. The details of sales and home visits won’t just make or break our profit, it has the potential to save lives or forever deter our ‘customers’.

Health topics can often be difficult to discuss so we need to create a safe space. The CHW’s needs to have confidence in their ability to advise, and households need to have confidence in their CHW to give them good information. We have seen improvements in knowledge sharing and demeanor during home visits, but only after several trainings and very close monitoring.  We hope to develop a training curriculum to speed this process up. We have researched several CHW programs, but have failed to secure specific lesson plans or in depth advice and are now seeking yours!

For those of you involved in CHW programs:

  • What does your home visit structure look like?
  • How do you train for successful home visits?
  • What materials do you use during training?
  • What materials do you equip your CHW’s with?
  • How do you ensure key messaging is consistent?

For those of you involved in health commodity sales programs in low-resource areas:

  • How do you train on sales strategy?
  • What materials do you use during training?
  • What materials do you equip your salespeople with?

We are grateful for any information you are able to share with us and hope to reciprocate in any way we can. Whether it be in the form of curriculum or making a connection with someone you feel would be helpful, please send a note our way.  By sharing your details you will help us take the devil out of ours.

About Lindsay Cope

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