The Community Health Worker training has started in Jibhi. There are seventeen course members with five women and girls from Jibhi and the remainder from neighbouring Gushaini valley â€“ under the umbrella of SAHARA. The first few days of the course have gone very well. Course teachers have been a range of people from Himachali Community Health Workers, Himachali nurses as well as Course Leader Dr Jeph Mathias and other doctors and staff visiting from Lady Willingdon Hospital. Sara Deane â€“ an Indian Canadian volunteer has made wonderful teaching resources â€“ a dehydrated baby doll (pour the water in and it all runs out), a sequential time-frame of pneumonia developing, posters, flannel board chartsâ€¦The wonderful book â€“ â€˜Where there is no doctorâ€™ (Jahan Doctor Na Ho) is being used as the course text.
A day focus on nutrition saw health workers tasting raw sprouted moong beans and channa for the first time and scribbling down recipes for weaning foods. A recipe we all cooked together included homemade peanut butter stirred into a mixture of barley flour, attha and baison which had been dry roasted. We all queued up for seconds! Homework has been set for all health workers to trial some of these foods in their village during the five day course break.
Photos included here illustrate making ORS with nimbu for extra flavour, learning to take blood pressure, weighing a young baby and working in groups to discuss the seasonality of vegetables and foods in Himachal and the food pyramid showing different classes of food and plotting height and weight.
Earth Scientist, Author, Hiker and Traveler, Payson is a trained earth scientist and founder of InterNetwork, Inc and InterNetwork Media, Inc. Stevens has been an advisor to Great Himalayan National Park since 2000.