Training of BMA volunteer health workers

As part of the implementation of the “624” program in Bangkok, Siamentis joins with the Institute of Nutrition, Mahidol University to conduct a training program for 1,200 volunteer health workers to impress upon them the importance of the program and the role volunteers play as part of the “624” program to develop future human resources of the country. Training was conducted in March 2008 in Nakorn Pathom.

Thailand boasts a large network of volunteer health workers. The 4 million strong volunteers resides in all districts nationwide. Volunteers help out with all kinds of work: communicating healthcare information, doing basic health checkups, helping out with administrative work in district health offices, making house calls, doing field surveys.?This network of volunteers, armed with mobile phones enabled the Thai authority to quickly contain the bird flu pandemic by actively working on early detection of the outbreak.

Volunteer health workers were identified early on in the “624” program, to be an instrumental part of the program implementation. Since there were established beliefs and practices about childcare and feeding practices among our target audience (grandmothers in this case), regular visits and encouragement by volunteers will be vital to foster the change in attitude and behavior.

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