245315 Introducing new health education and promotion technologies to rural Honduran community health workers: An opportunity to increase capacity and create sustainability

Monday, October 31, 2011: 8:50 AM

Amanda A. Schultz, MPH , Internal Capacity Development, Asociacion Mujeres Defensoras de la Vida, Orocuina, Choluteca, Honduras
Hondurasx Ministry of Health (MOH) relies heavily on the use of lay community health workers to monitor and deliver preventive healthcare to the majority of rural and isolated communities. AMDV, a local NGO, worked with Hesperian and Honduran MOH community health workers to develop and pilot a new digital platform allowing CHWs to create popular health education materials. The goal was to increase knowledge, confidence, and motivation to create and utilize locally contextualized health literacy materials as part of a multifaceted approach to improving community health. Feedback was provided in focus groups, surveys, video, and in-depth interview.

In initial results, CHWs showed high levels of interest in the tool and creation of materials, although the users had little to no previous computer experience. CHWs also required training in basic health communication and message design. A series of trainings were designed in a participatory manner to increase CHW capacity in computation and creation and use of health literacy materials, which resulted in the use of materials in 15 communities. Utilization of the tool and materials is highly reliant on access to computer and internet technology and institutional socialization.

At the time this abstract is submitted, efforts are being made to socialize and integrate this tool into the municipal health center to sustain the use of culturally competent and community specific health messages in health promotion across more than 35 communities. Results show promise for efforts to bring new health technology to developing rural communities.

Learning Areas:
Assessment of individual and community needs for health education
Communication and informatics
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs

Learning Objectives:
1. Describe challenges and opportunities present in the introduction of new health technology to lay community health workers in developing settings. 2. Identify strategies for training lay community health workers in the creation of localized health education materials.

Keywords: Community Health Promoters, Health Workers Training

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have extensive experience working with community health workers and am the coordinator of The Hesperian Foundation`s Spanish language test site in Honduras.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.