By Kate Thanel, PIH’s Haiti Curriculum and Training Specialist
On August 30, Zanmi Lasante’s (ZL) training team conducted a cholera workshop for trainers and health agents from other Haiti-based NGOs. Held in Hinche, the training is a crucial step in the fight against cholera and a reminder that the number of new infections will only be curbed through collaborations such as this.
Nearly a year since entering the country, cholera continues to infect thousands of people each week. As of late August, the Haitian Ministry of Health reports that nearly 440,000 people have been infected to date. In the absence of more permanent structural solutions, community education is one of the most powerful tools we have to confront cholera.
In addition to training thousands of its own community health workers (CHWs), accompagnateurs, and hygiene agents, the ZL National Training Center has opened its doors to all local organizations interested in building training capacity and competence in community-level cholera intervention.
Since June, the ZL training team has worked with staff from six organizations in Haiti’s Plateau and Artibonite regions, preparing them to carry out educational sessions for CHWs over the course of a two-day training. Facilitators return to their organizations with materials in hand, prepared to train new cohorts of CHWs. To assure proper preparation of these facilitators, ZL has also offered to host and guide a first supervised training at the National Training Center for interested NGOs.
For the August 30 event, ZL coordinated a CHW cholera training led by ZL trained facilitators from Mercy Corps, Save the Children and World Vision. ZL training coordinator Vernet Etienne met with the three facilitators in advance to help them prepare the training agenda, divide up tasks and plan logistics. Each organization invited 8 CHWs to participate.
This collaborative training gives facilitators from each NGO the opportunity to receive guidance and feedback to better prepare them to provide high quality trainings when they return to their communities.
The training materials used in this training are the product of a collaborative effort with the Ministry of Health and the National Department of Potable Water and Hygiene. ZL has been able to provide trainings and materials to other area organizations thanks to a grant from the World Bank.