Community Empowerment programs

Swasthya Swaraj gives equal importance to the empowerment of communities with a view to make possible meaningful community participation and community action for health. Different cadres of people are being trained regularly in order to build up their capacity and competence.

Swasthya Sathis

These are village women selected by the villagers at village meetings @ one per village/ hamlet. 92% are tribal women and 90% illiterate or semiliterate.  Accessibility to healthcare facilities is an important factor in health promotion and is the big problem in tribal areas. Presence of Swasthya sathis in each village is one step towards solving this problem and empowering the village community in health.

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These are village women selected by the villagers at village meetings @ one per village/ hamlet. 92% are tribal women and 90% illiterate or semiliterate.  Accessibility to healthcare facilities is an important factor in health promotion and is the big problem in tribal areas. Presence of Swasthya Sathis in each village is one step towards solving this problem and empowering the village community in health.

The Swasthya Sathis are trained as a cadre of primary healthcare providers with knowledge and skills in diagnosing and managing the common sicknesses,  identifying the danger signs and early referrals and accompaniments.

The Swasthya Sathis though illiterate are better trained and equipped than ASHAs and work hand in hand with Swasthya Swaraj. A systematic three-year curriculum is followed with frequent evaluations.  All training is residential and carried out in creative ways. Only those who are satisfied with being able to function as a health provider, promoter and communicator are given a Swasthya Sathi kit.

In the pipeline-

  • Empowering Swasthya Sathis to be influential people in their villages so as to gain the trust and participation of the tribal community
  • Continuing ongoing training of old Swasthya Sathis with the newly inducted ones to consolidate gains and knowledge
  • Promotion of Swasthya Sathis to be group trainers as well as interlocutors with government functionaries like Anganwadi workers , ASHAs and ANMs

Trained Birth Attendants

In tribal areas, women deliver in their homes unassisted by anybody, including the cutting of the umbilical cord.  The attendant will only take care of the baby. This is a culturally accepted norm according to their belief system body fluids should not be touched by anyone.  In this situation, advocating institutional delivery is not effective as health facilities are situated far away and transportation facilities are extremely poor. There are no trained birth attendants in the area.

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In tribal areas, women deliver in their homes unassisted by anybody, including the cutting of the umbilical cord.  The attendant will only take care of the baby. This is a culturally accepted norm according to their belief system body fluids should not be touched by anyone.  In this situation, advocating institutional delivery is not effective as health facilities are situated far away and transportation facilities are extremely poor. There are no trained birth attendants in the area.

SS has trained 27 senior Swasthya Sathis who are well motivated to function as birth attendants. These women are well trained to assess each pregnancy, assess the risk level and advice correctly. They are well trained to conduct home deliveries in hygienic and scientific ways in low-risk pregnancies. At least 11 are doing wonderful work in the villages silently helping many women in their moments of distress and saving lives.

In the pipeline-

Train 100 motivated women as Trained Birth Attendants in remote villages.  

 

Shikhya Sathis

These are literate ( minimum class 8)  local tribal youth who are trained especially for carrying out national control programmes. So far the training has been focusing on malaria and TB control. They also support the Swasthya Sathis in carrying out effectively her works and to Field animators.

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These are literate ( minimum class 8)  local tribal youth who are trained especially for carrying out national control programmes. So far the training has been focusing on malaria and TB control. They also support the Swasthya Sathis in carrying out effectively her works and to Field animators.

In the pipeline:

These youth will be trained as barefoot vets in the villages.

Field Animators

The Field Animators are educated local youth mostly tribal youth ( plus Two and above)  who are the fulcrum of the Swasthya Swaraj comprehensive community health programme. They are trained with knowledge and skills in health topics, communication skills and leadership skills. These youth conduct village meetings, organize awareness programmes, data compilation, supervision of swasthya Sathis and other village level programmes. There are at present 12 field animators.

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The Field Animators are educated local youth mostly tribal youth ( plus Two and above)  who are the fulcrum of the Swasthya Swaraj comprehensive community health programme. They are trained with knowledge and skills in health topics, communication skills and leadership skills. These youth conduct village meetings, organize awareness programmes, data compilation, supervision of  swasthya Sathis and other village level programmes. There are at present 12 field animators.

In the pipeline –

Building up of leadership skills and managerial skills of Field animators

 Community Nurses

The continuous search for an alternative, innovative solutions to revitalize primary health care and improve the health of the poor residing in remote unreached areas led us to set up a cadre of Community Nurses who are trained in the community.

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The continuous search for an alternative, innovative solutions to revitalize primary health care and improve the health of the poor residing in remote unreached areas led us to set up a cadre of Community Nurses who are trained in the community.

Community Nurses are local tribal girls ( minimum qualification class 10, preferably plus two). This cadre of tribal women workforce understands the current health challenges and health systems of the country, is competent to work with the people and community in delivering public health interventions based on primary health care, and effectively responds to the needs and demands of the people in remote tribal areas.

This training programme is just initiated and will be affiliated to formal university soon. They are being trained by competent staff and innovative curriculum which will equip them with knowledge and skills and set of competencies to work with the community.

TULSI- an empowerment programme for tribal adolescent girls

TULSI is a programme conceived by Swasthya Swaraj after seeing the plight of the tribal adolescent girls in Thuamul Rampur Block of Kalahandi district of Odisha. 90% of them living in remote villages and hamlets are illiterate and an invisible group. This is an essential, important programme in comprehensive community health programme in reducing maternal and child mortality and morbidity.

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TULSI is a programme conceived by Swasthya Swaraj after seeing the plight of the tribal adolescent girls in Thuamul Rampur Block of Kalahandi district of Odisha. 90% of them living in remote villages and hamlets are illiterate and an invisible group. This is an essential, important programme in comprehensive community health programme in reducing maternal and child mortality and morbidity.

Tulsi programme targets 500 tribal adolescent girls in remote villages and envisages:

  • Improving their health and nutrition status through healthcare services and training programmes specific to their needs.
  • Empowerment through adolescent girls-friendly, skills-based nonformal education programme.
  • Education and training to improve their reproductive health knowledge, change of attitudes and practices.

 

 Health Promoting Schools

This programme is born out of our quest for improving the deplorable Health, education and nutrition status of the poorest of the poor school-going age group children in tribal villages. HPS is an ambitious programme envisaged to transform the non-functioning 15 government primary schools into nodal points of health and nutrition promotion in the villages and centres of academic excellence.

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This programme is born out of our quest for improving the deplorable health, education and nutrition status of school-going age group children in tribal villages. HPS is an ambitious programme envisaged to transform the non-functioning government primary schools into nodal points of health and nutrition promotion in the villages and centres of academic excellence.

15 government primary schools in Kerpai & Silet gram panchayats are selected for this innovative programme.

Activities done so far are:

  • Village meetings in each village to introduce the idea to the community.
  • Constitution of School Health Committees in each school (one teacher, SS field animator i/c school, Swasthya sathi of the village, 2 representative parents, 2 students from the school).
  • Orientation workshop to all the teachers and SS staff involved in the programme bringing together  District Education Department and District Health Department.
  • Periodic meetings of all the teachers with Block Education Officer and Swasthya Swaraj staff involved in HPS.
  • School Health check-up, Student health record for each individual student, analysis of the data – presented at the meeting of Education department and teachers.
  • School kitchen gardens- being initiated
  • Malaria education done in the schools through creative, activity-based programmes.
  • Training module for malaria education to residential tribal schools.
  • Training module on malaria for teachers.
  • Vision checking of all children.

In the pipeline:

Make the government primary schools centres of learning and nodal points of health & Nutrition promotion in the villages through innovative ways.

 

Help us support long-term change towards access to healthcare services at the grass-root level