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Wednesday, 20 October 2010

Jo, Myanmar (Burma) - Nearing the end of assignment revising a health education programme

Doctors of the World meeting with villagers
I am nearing the end of my mission, so I am beginning to get anxious about all the work that I still have to do. I have been working on remodeling the health education programme and we are about to start piloting the new model. It is quite exciting, but a little nerve wracking as well.
One of the main concerns since I have been here has been to evaluate the health education programme that Doctors of the World has implemented in the villages. I have observed a few of the sessions now and although the field teams do a great job, each session depends heavily on the skill of the presenter. The programme is very teacher/lecture focused.

 I feel that a different model would be more appropriate, one focusing more on the learner and learning activities that encourage enquiry and discussion. So I have been developing a package of activities for the villagers to take part in, hopefully that they will enjoy and also that they will learn from.
 I am currently piloting my new model in four of the villages. The topic I have chosen for the role play is “Safe Motherhood”.  The  package consists of a quiz, discussion topics and two role play scenarios;  a bad version (where everything goes wrong) and an ideal version, where the pregnant family does everything right and ends up with a lovely healthy baby and healthy mum. There is a section for discussion between the 2 versions.

The result is they love it! We have just come back from one village, where they had asked to have the scenario in advance so that they could prepare. They did a great job and even had a theatrical director! The audience was really engaged and the quiz section was lively and very noisy.  The consequence is we are now making a start on another topic and will probably include some board games.

In the meantime that’s it for the time being.  So from the hot, humid and sometimes wet but always mosquito-ridden Ayeyarwady Delta, I am Jo signing off for this month.

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