Today, July 31, was the last day of training. The morning was spent on a wrap-up session. The focus was documentation. The Lay Community Health Workers must document carefully their contacts with families and individuals. The family files must reflect the discussions and actions that take place. Often documentation is downplayed by practitioners, due to their focus on providing service. Also during this morning session, the health workers were given a map of the community that is divided into zones. These workers will be assigned a zone as the basis of their respective caseloads.
In the afternoon, after lunch, the emphasis shifted to the focus group. Crystal Adams took the lead at this juncture. The propose of this group was to grasp the opinions of the Lay Community Health Workers on a variety of issues. What we did right and wrong is important feedback in terms of future planning. The health workers were somewhat talkative and gave us some significant insights.
Saying goodbye was sad for everyone. Not only did the workers bond together, but we also bonded with them. But we accomplished our task: a group of skilled and confident lay community health workers has been created. These persons will have real and sustained impact on the general and breast health of Coast Guard and Grenada. We couldn’t have expected more.
Rebecca, one of the new health workers, brought a friend with a guitar to the school. He accompanied her as she sang a couple of songs. Good-byes were said and pictures taken. Valda, another new health worker, made a poignant point when she said that their community is not poor but rich with talent that this sort of training helps to realize. The final prayer, offered by Sister DeSilva, gave thanks for this training and the trainers, and blessed this and any future projects.
On July 30th, Wednesday, the 5th annual Mango Festival was held inside of the National Stadium. The rain fell all day but the event was not dampened. Persons came from throughout the island to exhibit their goods. Most everything on display was made from mangos, including muffins, cakes, ice cream, soap, and bread. After all, the theme this yeas is: “Showcasing Value-added Opportunities of Mango through Innovation for a Sustainable Economy and a Healthier Nation.” The set-up reminded me of a county fair.
The project team was invited to the opening ceremony, which began at roughly 10am and lasted for one hour. The Governor General of Grenada, Dame Cecile De La Grenada, declared the festival open. Additionally, speeches were given about the economy of Grenada and the importance of the mango crop to economic and social development. A highlight were the Tivoli Drummers who were excellent drummers. The project team was also recognized by the Chair of the ceremony.
Immediately following this ceremony, the project team began to work. Without a lot of advertising, more than fifty women showed up at the room where they could receive free breast exams. In fact, the response was overwhelming. Examinations were supposed to stop at 2:00 but continued to be given until after 3:00. At the end, everyone was exhausted. The Lay Community Health Workers, however, received invaluable experience and increased their confidence immensely.
Tomorrow will be the last training session with the health workers. The focus will be on the assignment of caseloads, care of their caseload files, and a focus group designed to elicit their views of the training that they received thus far. This phase constitutes a vital, but only one facet of the project evaluation process. Based on this information, changes will be made with regard to any future training.