Sindh government has approved a major modification in the curriculum for the lady health supervisors (LHSs) aimed at enhancing the quality of door-to-door preventive healthcare services delivered by lady health workers (LHWs). Speakers addressing the launching ceremony of the curriculum held at Aga Khan University here Tuesday appreciated that it particularly incorporates the latest treatment guidelines for pneumonia and diarrhoea: two preventable diseases that caused over 670,000 deaths in the country in 2015.
The new curriculum was said to include directives on how LHSs can effectively support and supervise the work of LHWs thereby empowering them to apply the latest knowledge and clinical skills to manage pneumonia and diarrhoea at early stages; when care is the most effective. “This revised LHS curriculum will now be used for training purposes and it is envisaged that it will ultimately help in better management of childhood diarrhoea and pneumonia,” said Dr Ghulam Hussain Sheikh, Director for Sindh Lady Health Worker Programme.
Special Secretary (Admin), Sindh Department of Health, Dr. Abdul Waheed Shaikh appreciated the representatives of the Sindh Lady Health Workers’ Programme for Family Planning and Primary Healthcare, and the Nigraan Plus team at AKU for their voluntary participation to revise this curriculum. They have also made great efforts in reviewing and translating it to Sindhi and in producing the first-ever electronic copy of this curriculum, he said.
Prof Fauziah Rabbani, the Nigraan Plus project’s principal investigator sharing details of the background leading to modification of the curriculum said AKU researchers alongside provincial health officials investigated the real-world barriers hindering the fight against pneumonia and diarrhoea. “It was observed that most of the discussion about improvements to health systems revolves around LHWs which meant that LHSs are vastly underutilised,” she said mentioning that LHS who effectively mentor 15 to 20 LHWs under his/her guidance can have a massive multiplier effect since every LHW is responsible for 100 households.—APP