Education and Training for the future
Health Education & Training
Providing the health care to the children is the immediate compassionate action. However education is the key to bring about change for the future.
A recent World Health Organisation report (2008) has highlighted the need to return back to basics. 80% of childhood illnesses can be prevented or treated in the community without the need of specialised hospital services.
Love the One has a 3-pronged approach in providing child health education and training:
Teach the children
Teach the parents, carers and the community
Train up community child health workers
Today’s children are tomorrow’s adults. Therefore it is vitally important to teach them about how to keep themselves healthy.
Teaching community health and hygiene issues will have a wide impact and save many lives. Educating children on topics such as HIV and AIDS could potentially save their life and the lives of many others.
We are developing tools to communicate important health messages in a fun format that children can understand and be interested in.
At each clinic we are opportunistic in our approach to educate the children. We provide more structured health education during the school holiday camps to reinforce the important messages.
Educating and equipping empowers local people to bring about the changes they want to see in their own community. Many carers we have met have said they feel ill equipped to manage children when they are sick.
We want to able to support the carers in the area of child health care so that they can feel confident in looking after the children.
Basic Child Health Course
We have developed a basic child health course which aims to equip parents to recognise, understand and treat the common childhood illnesses that crop up in their children and understand the importance of vaccination and preventative health. This course was launched and taught at two children's camps in April 2009 and was a resounding success. The carers who attended the course sat an exam and received a competency certificate. These carers are now much more confident in understanding and managing the basic childhood illnesses with the children they are caring for, and the frequency of inappropriate hospital admissions has decreased.
The Medicine Box
Every carer that successfully completes the child health course will receive a free starter box of medications. Each box will contain the basic medicines needed to treat common childhood illnesses with a laminated card of instructions about the use and age appropriate dosages of each in their appropriate language. (Average stock in each box to treat 10 children for a 6 month period.) We also supply toothbrushes, toothpaste, soap and a thermometer with each box.
Parenting Course - Promoting Excellence in Childcare
Caring for children who are not your own can be a daunting task. When those children come from difficult chaotic backgrounds they can bring those difficulties with them, making the 'parents' job that much more difficult. Many "looked after children" may be emotionally damaged, have low self-esteem, can have behavioural issues, and the list goes on. With our parenting courses we aim to cover a variety of topics aimed at explaining more about the backgrounds these children come from and discussing ways that carers can best help the children in overcoming their difficulties with practical tips for positive parenting.
We have a varied format of teaching, lectures, interactive small groups and role plays. Much fun is had throughout the course and the carers have commented that they have particularly enjoyed having the chance to discuss difficulties with other carers and receive support from each other. The parenting course runs concurrently with the Child Basic Health Course during the school holiday camps.
Our passion is to make a difference… one child at a time. As part of that our vision is always larger, looking ahead to ensure the work for the children can continue.
Different areas of the world need different solutions and it is important to always assess the needs ‘on the ground’ looking at the reasons behind the need and arriving at a culturally relevant solution.
An example of this is the provision of medical care for the children in India. In very low resource areas access to a hospital or medical facility can be extremely difficult and so an appropriate solution could be to provide an on-site medical facility for the poor.
In areas of India where resources are not so limited you will find hospitals more locally and therefore a more appropriate solution is to develop links by which the children can access them.
Love the One is looking at practical ways to train up local community health workers in child care, alongside existing Indian medical teams, for an effective sustainable community child health program.
In addition to this Love the One has set up a 24 hour medical help line to allow the carers to phone for medical advice about their children - Love the One Direct.