Volunteer training

Today was volunteer training, both for the Ghana Red Cross Society volunteers, and for the Ghana Health Services community volunteers.  Ghana Red Cross uses volunteers from the general community (i.e. the same approximate geographic area) to get the word out, as well as to help staff vaccination teams (doing crowd control, paperwork, and vitamin A distribution).  GHS uses sub-community-based (i.e. people who live within a given village of 500 or 1000) volunteers to staff vaccination teams, and to generally act as health advocates.

Miranda, Adam, and Elizabeth

This operational overlap is smart in that it helps to ensure maximum coverage (something that is absolutely critical), and the brilliance of its community-based nature is self evident as well.  I particularly laud GHS for using neighborhood-based volunteers.  In nearly every small village we visited yesterday Elizabeth (the Senior Midwifery Officer I was traveling with whilst doing Social Mobilization) would meet up with (and introduce me to) the village’s health volunteer.  They would help us meet the chief, assemble the community, maybe speak a bit before or after Elizabeth, and we’d give them some posters to put up as we departed.  This neighborhood-based volunteering ensures that there is a dedicated person in each village that makes sure people who fit the proper demographic (in this case families with kids under 5) are getting the services they need, and to whom people in those demographics can turn if they have questions (e.g. where to go to vaccinate their child).

So during the morning today we filmed Red Cross training of volunteers, and then during the afternoon we filmed GHS training of volunteers in Biriwa at the clinic there.  The training sessions were remarkably similar, which I think speaks to the homogeneity of the efforts here in Ghana.

I also read in the newspaper today that 700,000 are now displaced by the flooding in the north of Ghana, something that is bound to cause issue for the vaccination teams there.

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