On Monday, July 21st the Lay Community Health Workers entered the second phase of their training, that is, breast health. The first module dealt mostly with cell (abnormal) growth, types of tumors, and the risk factors for breast cancer, while the second focused on breast physiology. Paula Delpech conducted these sessions. In addition to lecture material, discussion and role play were also involved.
Although a lot of this material is complex, especially the part on breast physiology, the health workers seemed relaxed and confident that they could master this information. In fact, they learned very quickly. But this finding should not be a surprise. The research literature testifies to the ability of lay community health workers to learn very difficult material. Our group seems to be no different.
Soon the health workers will be making their second round of home visits. They will be using this information to educate neighborhood women about breast health and their risks of developing breast cancer. In this regard, these workers have to be familiar with their own physiology and talking to other women about their breasts. After all, some of this interaction is somewhat sensitive. But these health workers seem to be up for the task.