GVI Trust Dawasamu Fiji Health Programme began in January 2018 the long-term objective to assist the local District Nurse on the health issues concerning the District of Dawasamu in accordance with the Ministry of Health’s annual objectives for this District. One area GVI Trust Dawasamu focuses on the capacity development of the community health workers. Community health worker (CHW) is a community liaison between the village they live in and the district nurse. The CHW is trained to provide basic first aid and direct community members to the District Nurse as needed. They focus on informing the village about various issues that affect them and relay feedback to the district nurse about concerns such as an infection outbreak or a sick elderly person. CHW minimise the challenges that may arise due to the lack of access to health services and/or lack of transportation.
In partnership with the District Nurse, international volunteers enhance the capacity of CHW in areas of training and support. This strategic relationship allows for deeper levels of trust and community insight. With this insight, resource development is contextualised based off community needs, supports service delivery and positive health outcomes in the community. Volunteers review policies and information from the local government to ensure messages align with the Ministry of Health and Medical Services (MHMS) to ensure sustainability. Materials that are developed are by request from the District Nurse to increase efficiency and once the resource is developed, District Nurse and MHMS approve it. An example of a resource is a health packet that focus on prevention education messages on various health topics affecting the district such as infections like Typhoid or Leptospirosis. The health packet is a visual aid used by CHW to increase awareness and reduce infection. These efforts support the delivery of community education workshops by working one on one with a CHW and encouraging peer-to-peer support to increase their knowledge of health topics and self-efficacy to deliver and coordinate health promotion initiatives. It is well-established that the CHWs are crucial to both optimizing quality of care and addressing increased patient volume. GVI aides in human resources management and supporting CHW service delivery and encourage District Nurse role in continuous learning opportunities for her staff. All efforts aim to achieve the vision “The best medicine of all is to teach people not to need it.”
GVI Trust have assisted in compiling data that the District Nurse and CHWs have collected through their patient registrar and transfer into pivot tables to produce a data analysis report. For the District Nurse the report allows her to examine the data more easily to identify root causes of common infection cases for strategic disease intervention. The report helps CHWs to prioritize their preventive health measures by identifying their top infections within their village and conducting targeted public health interventions.
We would like to thank all donors who have contributed to our “Dawasamu Health Project” in Fiji. By working in partnership with the District Nurse and involving the Community Health Workers the overall main goal is ensuring that these projects are sustainable, through up skilling, creating resources that are easy to use and get the message across through interactive activities and bring in the opportunity to have discussions and increase the communities understanding through education.