The Health Needs Assessment (HNA) Department is one of three departments in Project Lokun. It emerged after Lokun’s 25th Service trip in May 2019, when the idea to involve all Lokuners in development work resulted in the Development Committee being expanded into three departments. The HNA Department is responsible for managing the Health Needs Assessment questionnaire that Lokun uses to monitor the villages we serve.
What is HNA?
Project Lokun’s Health Needs Assessment questionnaire is the means by which Lokun tracks the health knowledge, attitudes and behaviours of the villagers we serve in Pursat province. We use it to collect quantitative data by asking each villager we interview a series of multiple choice questions. During the trip, all Lokuners as well as volunteers from the University of Puthisastra are mobilised and sent into the villages in pairs with the goal of surveying as many villagers as possible in the allocated period of time. At the end of the trip, the data gathered is analysed and used to inform us about the health knowledge and health seeking behaviours within Pursat. We can then use this information to plan future initiatives to better meet the needs of each village. Over multiple trips, the various data sets can be used to analyse trends which enable us to gauge the effectiveness of our village-wide initiatives. We are also working on making use of data from the Health Needs Assessment to establish an entrance criteria for entering new villages, and an exit criteria for leaving existing ones.
The HNA Department has identified tuberculosis as a disease which is fairly prevalent in Pursat and merits investigation. Thus, questions in the Health Needs Assessment focus on tuberculosis. We are hopeful we will be able to use the information obtained to launch new initiatives targeted at reducing the incidence of tuberculosis in Pursat.
Besides designing the questions in the Health Needs Assessment and analysing the data obtained during the trip, the HNA Department is also in charge of planning and coordinating the surveying of villages. During Lokun’s 25th service trip, the Development Committee began making use of Google maps to map out important landmarks in the villages for the purpose of expediting the data-gathering process. The HNA Department has taken over this role and will be organising the pinned locations on Google maps by going through each one and removing pins that are not important for navigating around the villages. Members of the HNA Department will also familiarise themselves with the layout of each village, as they will be responsible for allocation of manpower during the trip itself. We plan on exploring more of the surrounding area in subsequent trips and pinning more locations to aid in our navigation of the villages. Hopefully, the increased efficiency in navigation will allow Lokun to survey even more villagers in the coming years.