OPUWO: The graduation ceremony for the first-ever Health Extension Workers (HEW) pilot project training is set to take place here for 04 October this year.
The HEW project will then be piloted in the Opuwo Health District of the Kunene Region for one year.
Director of Health for Kunene Region, Thomas Shapumba told Nampa on enquiry Thursday that 40 trainees are taking part in the six-month extensive training.
“It is the wish of any training institution to have a 100 per cent pass rate of its trainees, but it is also very tough to get a 100 per cent pass rate as certain studies and evaluations are to be done,” noted Shapumba.
The HEW trainees started with training in April this year, of which they attend classes one week per month, and the rest they do field work.
The training will end at the end of September this year.
The primary objective of the pilot project is to determine whether the placement of trained community health workers from the Ministry of Health and Social Services to render health and social services, will make a difference in the lives of rural families under the supervision of the Opuwo District Health Management Team.
The success of this pilot project will determine whether the HEW programme would be rolled out to other health districts countrywide.
The trainee HEWs were selected from different communities that they are going to serve.
Each HEW is expected to be responsible for 100 to 150 households in a given clinic catchment area assigned to him or her.
The HEW is expected to inform, educate and provide counselling on disease prevention, the detection of danger signs and management of health problems.
They will also be expected to detect common health problems and refer or provide care and in addition, facilitate community dialogue on cultural issues contributing to ill or good health.
Amongst other things, the HEWs will also be expected to monitor adherence to treatment and health schedules for tuberculosis (TB), anti-retroviral treatment (ART), hypertension and many other diseases.
The Opuwo Health District – which includes the Opuwo, Epupa and Sesfontein constituencies – has been selected for the pilot project given the vastness and remoteness of the region which sometimes makes it difficult for the community to easily reach the health facilities in the area.