During the month of June, 11 female Village Health Volunteers (VHV) in the Manawete and Dudi CMCA Trust regions in Western Province received a follow-up visit from the CMCA Middle and South Fly Health Services Development Program (CMSFHP). The VHVs were initially trained by CMSFHP in 2015 and 2016, and the purpose of this visit, by CMSFHP’s Essential and Emergency Obstetrics Care (EOC) Clinical Supervisor, was to reinforce the vital roles the VHVs play in their respective communities, specifically in regards to the health of expecting and new mothers.
The VHVs’ primary roles are focused on health awareness promoting health in homes and villages. The VHVs’ core function is to become the link between the community and the health facility. The VHVs were reminded that the time of labour, delivery, and after birth is the most risky for new mothers, and that trained health workers should tend to deliveries at health facilities. However, the VHVs can advocate and facilitate preparedness for birth and complications with their communities. At the same time, critical decisions could be made by them if there should be any complication and they can help patients seek professional help in a timely manner.
One VHV who participated in the follow-up visit expressed “I am so grateful for the follow-up. It was just a volunteer work and we could easily lose interest without support and supervision as such.”
The VHV from Kaviapo village in Manawete CMCA Region wasted no time in promoting EOC practices and identified 4 antenatal women who were almost close to delivery and sent them to Tapila Health Centre. The next day one of the 4 antenatal women delivered her first baby in the health centre. Two other women from Teapopo and one from Lewada were also brought in for a supervised delivery. A total of 7 women from different villages came in to the main health facilities to have their delivery supervised by skilled health workers which was a real success for the communities and the good work by the VHVs.