Friday, June 06, 2008

Learning by watching

In remote areas, health service delivery is almost always challenged by inaccessibility. And THIS barrio is not an exception. Farm to market roads takes too long to get done. Or even if they are done, they are done haphazardly that they don't last long too. But that's not what this blog is all about. It is about what an health advocate can do if faced with the same challenge.

BHWs watching an E Learning Video on Bird Flu

Tapping the skills and services of the front liners, the Barangay Health Workers (BHWs), in health service delivery has been one of my goals ever since I got here. I didn't have much choice. I either whine about rough roads and long walks to barangays or FIND a way!

Lecturing/sharing health information to them has actually been more difficult than one would think because of the language barrier. Much as I want to pass to them numerous health information, I just can't. I can't speak Ilocano! Much less converse in it!

What do you know, there are actually people/organization who makes our jobs easier.

Just two weeks ago, the UP Manila-National TeleHealth Center gave out E-Learning for Health CDs containing short films on stroke, poisoning (Iwas Lason), bird flu and tuberculosis. This was funded by the Last Mile Initiative Philippines of the USAID.

The short videos are actually in Filipino. But what makes it more interesting to the BHWs than the lecture of their Tagalog-speaking Doctor is that videos are animated. And what a person can only describe in words, a video can show it.

BHWs with their full attention ( I think) on the videos

Projects like these are priceless in many ways.
  1. By just producing several copies, information on several diseases can be sent to a lot of people in just a short span of time.
  2. It takes less human resource.
  3. The information is retained more than conventional lectures.
The downside? It needs a computer, LCD projector and electricity. But if these are available in your areas, why not?

Dr. Alex Gavino of NThC said that these videos will be uploaded in YouTube soon. Just in case you have BHWs or just anybody who wants to learn by watching, key in the word E-learning for Health, Iwas Lason, Stroke, Tuberculosis or Bird Flu and these might come out. Just don't forget to mention the proponents of the project.

Happy watching... and learning! :)


gigi said...

hi dr. che, times have really changed. your posts take me back to my community med days and my little stint with COMMED.

i got to read dr. tes's post on technology ( technology, i think, should be our ally. and it's fantastic that this is being applied in your modules in BHW training.

MerryCherry, MD said...

Hi Doc Gigi.

Yeah, agree with Dr. Tess there, technology should be our ally. If it can make things easier, why not, right?

But sometimes, we have to be cautious too when using it. :)