Integrating health sector reform strategies in developing the national training manual for community health volunteers in the Philippines
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Culion Foundation, Mother Ignacia Avenue, Paligsahan, Quezon City, Metro Manila, Philippines
Publication date: 2023-04-26
Popul. Med. 2023;5(Supplement):A727
Community health volunteers (CHVs) in the Philippines, known as barangay health workers (BHWs), are important part of health system in ensuring that the health programs and services are accessible to all Filipinos. Therefore, it is important to ensure that their knowledge and skills are not only updated but also aligned with the Philippine national health sector reform strategies. This project, supported by World Health Organization Philippines, aimed to update the 2014 BHW Reference Manual, integrating different training initiatives and policies concerning them. Consultations were done with different bureau directors of the health ministry to solicit guidance on the policies that must be considered in the development of the training manual. Recent manual of procedures of different health programs and policy issuances were reviewed to identify tasks expected from BHWs. Key informant interviews, including BHWs in select urban and rural areas, were interviewed to determine the actual tasks expected from BHWs. Training manuals from different reputable institutions were also gathered and reviewed. An initial draft was developed, and disseminated to different health ministry program managers for comments. The second draft, translated into local language, with accompanying facilitators guide was pilot tested by 20 BHWs in two urban and two rural areas for 10 days. The national policies on BHW roles (as indicated in a legislation), competency training standard, national reorientation on health promotion, and integration of health services were incorporated in the BHW training manual. The amount of content per topic was determined by the prescribed number of hours of training in the BHW competency training standard. Compared to the 2014 version, the new manual was well received by pilot trainees because of the use of conversational national language. The manual and the faciliators guide was released by the health ministry on October 2022 for public use.