BUILDING SOLID FOUNDATIONS
This trip, we revised our health education syllabus comprising various topics pitched at different levels for the Primary 1 to Primary 6 students in Pursat. To aid with knowledge retention, we decided to implement key topics like oral hygiene and water sanitation in two phases, phase (I) in the younger years and phase (II) in the older years.
Carefully developed and refined over the years based on feedback and data we gather during our trips, our health education syllabus promises to be its most relevant to the needs of Pursat’s primary school children. Accompanied by games and activities, we keep our lessons engaging for the children. Furthermore, thanks to our generous sponsors, we are able to provide children with toothbrushes and the necessary materials they need to put the healthy habits we teach into practice.
HEALTH EDUCATION ACTIVITY BOOKLET
The Health Education Activity Booklet initiative was rolled out in L22, with the intention of reinforcing concepts taught during lessons. The booklet contains worksheets which match up with our health education syllabus, and include pledge activities to increase students’ ownership of their health. Upon reviewing the students’ activity booklets in L23, we were heartened to see a sizeable properties of the worksheets completed and marked using the answer keys which we provided the teachers with. We hope the worksheets in the booklet will continue being a thoughtful supplement to our lessons.
INSTILLING GOOD HABITS
HEALTH AMBASSADORS & STAR CHARTS
Since L22, we have encouraged teachers to select two students to be the Health Ambassadors of each class. The role of the Health Ambassadors is to encourage their fellow classmates to practice healthy habits, such as brushing their teeth and washing their hands after visiting the toilet. During this trip, Health Ambassadors appointed from the previous trip shared about their experiences and were rewarded for their contributions. New Health Ambassadors were appointed and will be asked to share the same in L24.
In L22, we provided each class with a Star Chart. Leveraging on healthy competition among the students, teachers awarded stars to students who completed their health education activity booklets and practised healthy habits. In L23, we presented prizes to the top 3 students of each class who had accumulated the most stars; we are grateful to have the teachers’ support for this initiative and will continue to assess the success of these initiatives in L24.
ADULT EDUCATION OVERVIEW
Our education efforts target children and adults alike. We reached out to the adults through the Health Education Programme (HEP) conducted at clinics, and through opportunistic education during our door-to-door Health Needs Assessment (HNA) surveys.
This year, we introduced Common Signs and Symptoms as a new topic, due to feedback and information on the villagers’ states of health gathered from the last trip. We educated villagers on some common medical symptoms that are serious yet easily missed (eg. signs of a stroke, blood in sputum, etc.), and reminded them of the importance of seeking medical help in these situations.
HEALTH EDUCATION PROGRAMME
The Health Education Programme (HEP) is a compulsory component of clinics. After completing their consultation with our doctors, villagers had to attend one lesson on Common Signs and Symptoms of Disease in addition to one of the other adult education topics of their choice.
In L23, the HEP was conducted through the use of flip charts in small groups. This allowed the villagers to be better engaged by the UP Lokuners teaching them, and provided them with the opportunity to ask any questions they had. We also piloted information pamphlets for each of the 4 topics above, to provide the villagers with a means to refer and revise what was shared with them during the HEP. The pamphlets were extremely well received this trip and hence, we will improve and build on this idea in L24.
Looking ahead, we are currently thinking of ways to further improve the HEP curriculum, both in its content and delivery.
MAXIMISING OUR REACH
DOOR-TO-DOOR OPPORTUNISTIC EDUCATION
While effective, the Health Education Programme (HEP) only targets villagers who attend our clinics. In an effort to expand our outreach and impact on other villagers, we also carried out opportunistic education in L23 during door-to-door Health Needs Assessment (HNA). Whenever any poor health habits or inaccurate knowledge was brought up during the HNA, we capitalised on these opportunities to educate the villagers on the relevant accurate health information with our health education pamphlets from HEP.
PARTNERSHIPS WITH NGOs
Moving ahead, we hope to increase the effectiveness of our education through furthering our partnerships with NGOs based in Pursat, namely Tuk Tuk For Children (TT4C) and Disability Development Services Program (DDSP).
TT4C is an NGO dedicated to providing the children of Pursat Province with quality education, sanitation, nutrition, and entertainment. Between L22 and L23, we were able to exchange some resources with them, allowing us to improve our primary school health education materials with references to theirs, particularly that of oral hygiene. In the future, we plan on exploring further potential collaborations with them and to meet with the organisation during L24, all in the effort to better the content and means through which we teach.
On the other hand, DDSP works with several health centres and educates villagers through health education lessons prepared by the health centres. In L23, we met up with DDSP as well as Sustainable Cambodia, and have agreed on the possibility of collaboration for our future trips. Moving ahead, we will be exploring the possibility of circulating our materials through the self-help groups supervised by these NGOs. We will also consider conducting centralised adult health education lessons with the villages under the purview of Roleap Health Centre. As we move ahead, we are hopeful that the tie-ups with these organisations will allows us to expand our outreach and make our education more relevant for the villagers.