By Morris S. Karneh, Grand Cape Mount County Correspondent
MONROVIA, July 15 (LINA) – Over 60 Community Health Assistants (CHAs) and Community Health Supervisors (CHSs) have received certificates after completing three months of intensive training in Community Health Services.
The training, which was conducted by the Ministry of Health with support from the World Bank, ran from July 31 to October 13, 2019 with the certification initially scheduled for February 2020, but was postponed due to the Coronavirus outbreak.
The sixty-one Community Health Assistants and seven Community Health Supervisors were drawn from communities in Garwula, Tewor and Commonwealth Districts in Grand Cape Mount County.
Speaking at the certification ceremony recently on the campus of the Sinje Public School, the Assistant Director of Community Health Services Division at the Ministry Health, Derry S. Duokie, said the participants were trained to provide health services to residents in areas that are far from major health facilities.
« When you look at Liberia today, not all communities have access to health facilities; yet there is still need for health workers in those communities because illnesses don’t care whether there is a health facility or not, » Assistant Director Duokie said.
« So in order to reduce the alarming rate of illnesses for mainly children who are vulnerable, the Ministry of Health thought it wise to recruit community members and train them so that they will help to render minimum health services in their respective communities, » he added.
According Director Duokie, the CHAs were trained during the three-month course in basic skills in four modules, including Health Promotion, Health Education, Community Event-Based Surveillance and Integrated Community Case Management.
Assistant Director Duokie said with this training, CHAs will be able to treat children under the age of five years with simple malaria, pneumonia and diarrhoea and do health awareness for adults in their various communities.
« Another responsibility of both CHAs and CHSs is to check for people carrying signs and symptoms of COVID-19, » he indicated.
The Assistant Director of Community Health Services Division, however, warned the CHAs not to overstep their bounds and go into treating illnesses that are not part of their terms of reference.
Assistant Director Duokie indicated that certified CHAs will work four hours daily and are expected to receive US$70 per month as incentive for their services.
He admonished them to take their job seriously so as to help reduce illnesses in the various communities across the three districts in Grand Cape Mount County that they were selected to serve.
Also speaking at the occasion, the outgoing Grand Cape Mount County Health Officer, Dr. Netty Joe, thanked the Ministry of Health and its international partner, the World Bank, for the training.
She then urged the certificated individuals to take advantage of the education they received to help, particularly children, under the age of four to get vaccinated, adding that often parents ignore the issue of vaccination due to the lack of health facilities in some communities.
In remarks, the CHAs and CHSs thanked their communities for selecting them for the training and also thanked the Ministry of Health and the Work Bank for organizing the course.
They assured that the basic education they acquired from the three-month training will be translated into action when they assume their job.
This is the second time Community Health Assistants and Community Health Supervisors have been trained in two years.
Earlier in 2019, a number of Community Health Assistants and Community
Health Supervisors from Gola Konneh and Porkpa Districts were trained by the Ministry of Health.