Community health workers form the centerpiece of the program. They are volunteers and trusted community members who serve as an interface between their neighbors and the health system. They serve about 100 households, going door to door with education and support aimed at prevention. They:
- Make sure kids are immunized and mothers get prenatal care
- Teach mothers about child nutrition, how to detect and treat dehydration, and the importance of treating water, sleeping under a mosquito net, and hand-washing
- Bring simple, but important treatments like deworming pills, rehydration salts, and fever reducers
We are testing the use of short videos viewed on mobile devices – tablets and smart phones – to educate mothers about preventing illness and promoting health in their children. The peer educator approach is especially valuable in rural areas because it delivers health education directly to mothers wherever they are – including those who are most remote.
The set of videos help mothers prevent those things that are preventable, recognize health danger signs, and understand when to seek medical care. The video format is interesting. The content is clear and engaging. The health concepts are presented in a way that is understandable to mothers who may have had little education. And importantly, every mother gets the same high-quality content.