Sampan, a community health and development project, is partnering with village health workers to bring spiritual and physical health in impoverished villages of Northern India in the state of Uttarakhand. A team has been established to deliver highly strategic and effective health care through the engagement of local community health volunteers.
The project has equipped and trained local people in public health and primary healthcare. Volunteers undergo ongoing training in skills to deal with diverse issues ranging from child birth emergencies, to building toilets to facilitating local self-help groups.
Training is two fold – firstly basic training of any newly recruited health workers and secondly, ongoing training for existing health care workers. Existing community health workers have access to continuing professional development through bi-annual training days, a training newsletter and web based sharing forum. This facilitates a sharing of resources amongst network members and health workers.
WHAT WE LIKE ABOUT IT
Sampan is the initiative of a highly qualified Australian doctor that has undertaken extensive research on public health issues in India. The training is ongoing and highly relevant. By training local volunteers the project ensures sustainability of service provision; these are people who understand and have a commitment to their local communities. We love the fact that the training is accredited. Communities who are 3 hours by car from a doctor now have access to health care!
The 8.48 million people who live in a remote province at the foothills of the Himalayas in Northern India have little access to primary health care. The knowledge of basic public health care information is poor so the levels of mortality and morbidity from preventable conditions such as pneumonia and diarrhea are high. The high prevalence of maternal and infant mortality can be easily reduced with simple knowledge and access to basic antenatal and postnatal care.