The training of village health workers (VHWs) by mobile health clinic medics initially occurred in the malaria control program when medics sought to establish a presence in more distant villages. Since 2007 the program has been administered independently and has expanded to reach 16 clinic areas with a population of 36,383.
The goals of the program are:
- To improve village health
- To teach members of the community to protect them selves from disease
- To change the care seeking patterns within the village
- To provide basic health care to villagers where there is no clinic access
- To encourage community ownership and demand for KDHW services.
The VHWs focus on education and prevention of malaria and diarrhea. One or two VHWs live in each village of a program area. During one year, from May 2009 through April 2010, VHWs conducted over 1,000 community education sessions and over 85,000 home visits.
Global Health Access Program (GHAP) provides technical support for curriculum development and training, and for program monitoring and evaluation based on internationally tested best practices. VHW supervisors train the VHWs in their areas. The supervisors support and assess the VHWs, collect data, and prepare reports.
There currently are two levels of VHW, the first level being trained to teach about and treat diarrhea. Level one VHWs teach hand washing with soap or ashes for prevention of diarrhea, and how to make oral rehydration solution (ORS) to treat dehydration. Level two VHWs also educate villagers about malaria. They distribute insecticide treated nets (ITN) and K-O Tab insecticide treatment, identify cases, and refer severely ill patients to the clinic.