HFI trains and level up the capacity of BHWs in MiMaRoPa.
During the late 1980s, community volunteer health workers, also known as barangay health workers (BHWs) in the Philippines, were established by the government as its answer to the critical shortage of health workforce in the country.
The BHWs were considered the guardians of the nation’s health at the grassroots level. Through the years, they continued to serve selflessly and sacrificially to their communities. Until today, they step up on the frontlines in their own barangays to hold the ropes for the healthcare system. We call them our “Bayani ng Kalusugan”, our Wellness Heroes.
To respond to the increasing demands of the healthcare system and the desire to equip the BHWs to become competent Leaders, Teachers, and Health Workers in the community, HFI in partnership with the Department of Health (DOH) Regional Office of MiMaRoPa launched a Barangay Health Workers Training for the beloved BHWs of the city of Puerto Princesa, and the municipalities of the provinces of Palawan and Oriental Mindoro.
Last November 2019, over 100 BHWs , most of which are BHW presidents and officers of their respective municipalities , actively participated in the training on Introduction to Community-based Approach, Leadership and Values Formation, and Therapeutic Communication.
It was a month-long training within the region of MiMaRoPa to rekindle the fire within the BHWs and equip them with the necessary knowledge and skills for them to deliver health services with efficiency, competence and dedication. The approach to training was evocative, reflective and very participative, involving the trainees every step of the way.
The Community-based Approach Training, the BHWs of Palawan and Oriental Mindoro provided inputs on how to organize and mobilize the people in their communities. This training raised the leadership lid, potential and capacities of the BHWs.
“…Napaka-interesting… Epektibo para sa aking pagiging barangay official [at] pagiging barangay health worker… Talagang ma-a-apply ko yung mga natutunan ko… (Very interesting. [The training is] effective for me as a barangay official and as a barangay health worker. I’ll truly be able to apply what I have learned)”, said Ms. Concepcion, BHW from Oriental Mindoro, who happens to be a barangay councilor as well.
The excellence and competence of Palawan and Oriental Mindoro BHWs was impossible to ignore, as raw as they can be. The Therapeutic Communication Training provided strategies on more effective and empathetic communication with their patients and clients.
“Hindi ko ikakaila, yung way ko nung una, kung minsan ay may pagkakatulad sa mga pasyente na papasok sa klinik, medyo nakakairita kapag marami silang salita. Ngayon, nalaman ko na hindi pala dapat ako magkomento. Hindi naman ako dapat makaramdam ng galit. Dapat unawin ko pa sila… (I will not deny. At first, I also get annoyed just like the patients when they have lots of things to say. I realized that I do not have to make a comment. There’s no need to be angry. Instead, I should understand them)”, Ms. Concepcion adds.
The Leadership and Values Training armed the BHWS with the core values of compassion, integrity, commitment, respect, trust, love for God, love for people, and love for country .
Graduating from HFI’s training program through the initiative of DOH MiMaRoPa, the barangay health workers are now more ready and excited to perform their roles as Leaders, Teachers, and Health Workers. The same spirit that moved the community volunteer health workers before the 1980s, is the same spirit that moves the new wave of barangay health workers at this turn of another decade.
True to their oath, BHW presidents of Palawan and Oriental Mindoro are now more equipped with new knowledge, and empowered with reawakened hearts and passion to serve back to their communities. From barangay health workers, they are now barangay health leaders and teachers as well.
For more photos, you can visit HFI’s Facebook Page.