When the corona pandemic reached Nepal, it became quite clearto us: Our big project for the year 2020, the start of the first “Basic Health Counsellor” training at the Akasha Academy in Suntakhan could not take place as we had planned. Therefore, the Nepalese project team, members of the Akasha Academy NGO and the Long Yang e.V. adjusted the original training concept to the acute needs of the population and created a “train the trainer” program to educate and inform about Covid-19.
The goal of the program is to support the locals in dealing with the Corona pandemic by providing practical knowledge and relevant hygiene concepts in order to make protection and safety in dealing with others and everyday life possible. At the same time, the trained persons gain the opportunity to share their knowledge with their families and other people in their region to further reach uneducated parts of the population.
Training kickoff in September
Things were ready to start at the end of September – after the approval of the ward in Suntakhan, a first pilot training took place. During three days, the training focused on multipliers of the local community, the health posts and the female community health volunteers. After the holidays of the Nepali festival season around Dashain and Tihar, pupils returned to school at the local Sri Suntakhan Secondary School. As we had been working with this public school for many years, we offered them to hold short workshops and explain about Covid-19 to ensure the school and its pupils a safe start of the resumed classes.
Afterwards a group of 10 pupils from grade 9 and 10 visited us for a train-the-trainer program on our grounds at the Akasha Academy.
Our trainers Sangay Sherpa (doctor), Akriti Shrestha (nurse) and Nilam Tamang (public health expert) taught students for sixt days on the basics of anatomy and physiology, went into depth on Covid-19 and the possibilities to protect oneself and others, and how to engage with others more responsibly. The girls developed their own short workshop and info material to hand over to younger students of the school. The second one-week training took place in December and another one is currently being prepared.
First multipliers are giving trainings
At the beginning of this year, the first workshops by the multipliers took place. Participants of the first course enthusiastically shared their knowledge with students of grades 7,8 and 9.
The start of the originally planned education program for the “Basic Health Counsellor” is currently planned for May 2021 remaining in accordance to the rhythm of the school year. The noticeable interest for medical topics which was visible in the group of participants of the Covid-19 training suggests that some of them will be active in the medical field in the future as well. Perhaps they will even participate in the “Basic Health Counsellor training”.