Silver Award for Health Team at Impumelelo Gala Awards Celebration
A silver award was presented to the Department of Health in Eden and supporting NPO FAMSA Karoo at the Impumelelo Gala Awards held in Cape Town recently for their Community Health Worker Model. Impumelelo identifies rewards and promotes social innovations that improve quality of life of the poor through an annual awards programme, case study research, policy analysis and master class training to promote replication.
Western Cape Government Health in Eden tested the Model in Bridgeton, Oudtshoorn, during 2015/16 as part of being a pilot site for the National Health Insurance. “The Silver Impumelelo award is a recognition and celebration of hard work, sheer determination of a team to overcome all challenges and find solutions for the challenges to realise a shared vision for the way forward to Healthcare 2030,” said Dr Helise Schumann, District Manager of Eden and Central Karoo Districts.
The focus was to develop a Community Health Worker (CHW) Model for rural settings that promotes community health and prevention of illness before it presented at clinics. The existing model was reactive and not proactive in nature. FAMSA Karoo was appointed as the service provider and provided primary care training for 20 CHWs. The main priorities were health promotion and prevention, self-management, health screening and referrals, as well as basic care.
A total of 50 785 screenings were done, of which 3 636 people were referred to the clinic (7,1% of all screenings). Due to its success, the programme has been implemented across the Eden district and was rolled out to all the Rural Districts in 2016/17.
Since the pilot project, 800 trainees have completed the 1-year accredited training.
The role of the community health worker is to empower relatives/families/friends to look after clients who require care. They do health screenings and referrals where needed to the nearest Primary Healthcare (PHC) facility.
They also follow-up on known clients referred from the PHC facility. Community health workers are employed by NGOs who are contracted by the Department. They usually work half day and are in most cases from the communities that they serve. Entering a home, they would introduce themselves and ask questions from a form called a screening tool. These questions are divided into Child Health, Mental Health, Women’s Health, Men’s Health, HIV and AIDS, and TB. Clients are then referred to the clinic depending on their answers.
Principal Communications Officer
Eden and Central Karoo Districts
Western Cape Government Health
Kwanokuthula CDC,Plettenberg Bay
Tel: 044 501 5751
Fax: 044 501 5719