STAY INFORMED: Empowering Parents with Health Information
This project aims at ensuring that every uninformed/unempowered and low-income parent is oriented towards proper nurturing and upbringing of their children within the most remote communities all over the country and beyond.
The project serves towards ensuring that children in low-income communities thrive through PARENTAL ENLIGHTENMENT, addressing issues such as LACK OF AWARENESS, and providing BASIC EMPOWERMENT skills to parents. Using training teams to educate parents during activities where parents are already gathered, the Stay Informed project will ensure parents have the skills and tools to create an environment where their children can thrive!
STAY INFORMED involves educating parents face-to-face, empowering them with the knowledge and skills to raise their children to be happy and healthy. Education training curricula will be developed by health care workers to provide in-depth knowledge and tools towards empowering parents to better support their children. Education sessions will cover topics including personal hygiene; antenatal and postnatal care; nutrition; immunization; proper parental supervision; child psychology; clinical examination; and, maintaining child records. Due to the distance from many hard-to-reach (HtR) settlements to the nearest health facility, parents in these HtR are forced to rely on traditional birth attendants (TBAs) for health information so we also want to train the TBAs to serve as health educators and teach them more hygienic and standard child delivery procedures.
Our project, targeted at parents, especially women, who are channels of change in low-income communities, not only equips the parents with the necessary information but it also helps provide the basic needs of the community through adequate provisions, skills acquisition, and collaborative interventions. The intended approach will not only overcome the challenge but also give room for making a lasting impression in this communities that can be sustained till adulthood. It can also help to teach parents on how to increase the creativity of their children through play.
eHealth Systems Africa (EHA) staff (this role will be continued by volunteers after the pilot stage) are deployed to the field after their official training, they would in turn train and enlighten parents through pictures, slides, other standard tools and short classes, At the end of each training incentives that will be beneficial towards the development of the children will be provided as well as skill acquisition trainings for the parents. These incentives would also include solar radios, maternity kits, mosquito nets, soap, hand sanitizers among others, the solar radios would aid in further dissemination of information after the trainings. GIS technology will be used in site location of mobile child care centers, navigation and routing of incentives delivery and planning by our staffs. The number of days of visitations to a particular settlement will be determined by the number of trainings to be taken, such that at end of the exercise the parents would have been rotated through all the trainings.
At the final stage of the program, a community meeting will be held in these HtR settlements with community representatives to determine their basic needs. The community would also be encouraged to take part or provide their own quarter in achieving this feat. After the pilot project, evaluation would be carried out and suitable media would be used to send periodic reminders to the locals in their local languages. Volunteers from settlements would be trained to widen the reach of the project and ensure continuity, these volunteers would however be monitored periodically to ensure adherence to standards.
Who will benefit from this idea and where are they located?
We developed this idea for implementation among parents who live in Kano, a large state in northern Nigeria, an ideal testing ground for this type of health intervention. Our proposed idea of health “trainings” or education sessions for parents is targeted at men and women of reproductive age (15-45 years). The benefactors of the project are children in northern Nigeria.
How could you test this idea in a quick and low-cost way right now?
Our organization is currently involved in supporting health camps across northern Nigeria, mobile outreach services during monthly polio immunization campaigns. We would like to use these camps as a testing ground to pilot these health education seminars as there are a lot of parents who attend the health camps to receive health services with their children. Ideally we would test some health education sessions with groups of parents at different camps, and then we will do an evaluation of the training that will help us improve the education sessions.
What kind of help would you need to make your idea real?
In order to implement this project, we are requesting the following resources:
1. Funding to implement the project
2. Access to subject matter experts in the health field to help with curricula development of education sessions
3. Training of trainers – We need expert facilitators to train our staff on appropriate training techniques before they go to the field and educate/train the parents
Is this an idea that you or your organization would like to take forward?
Yes. I am ready and interested in testing this idea and making it real in my community.