WellShare’s slogan, “Community Health Works!” rings true in all of our programs. In Tanzania, our community health worker (CHW) model is the foundation of the program’s overwhelming success. The CHW model offers many unique benefits that conventional approaches often lack. Most importantly, our approach is both sustainable and effective.
The sustainability of any program is vital to its success; after all, our goal is to provide ongoing and self-sustaining support that goes beyond the initial interventions. CHWs are frontline public health workers who are members of the community they work in, as well as important educators and health care providers to their fellow community members. Their ongoing physical presence in the community ensures long-lasting success in our Tanzania programs. The durability of our Tanzania program is rooted in this communal technique. Trained CHWs educate and provide women with the resources to take charge of their own health, while also encouraging and guiding them in their entrepreneurial endeavours. The education and support provided by WellShare fosters favorable conditions for these women to succeed, time and time again.
The great success of our “Survive and Thrive” and “Health eVillages” programs is primarily accredited to our CHWs. As members of their community, CHWs are trusted by their peers. No matter how pure the intentions, it is difficult to establish trust when an intervention comes from an outsider. Distrust and cultural miscommunication are both significant barriers in securing optimal health care, and CHWs are a dependable, long-term solution to this problem. CHWs are further equipped with credibility and a deep understanding of the community served.
The combination of the trust and understanding that CHWs offer result in an effective, sustainable program. Our Tanzania program relies heavily on CHWs to successfully operate. CHWs working on the Survive and Thrive Group program equip single mothers with the education and skills necessary to thrive economically and improve the health of their families.
CHWs secure this goal through various ways:
CHWs facilitate educational sessions which help women pursue entrepreneurship. Recently, this entrepreneurship has manifested itself in the production of COVID prevention supplies. While WellShare encourages business skills and entrepreneurship, it is the womens’ dedication that ultimately produces their success. There is also a push to educate these women on ways to free themselves from poverty and short life expectancy. Health education surrounding infant mortality rates is deployed using technology such as iPads that have been distributed by WellShare to the CHWs in Tanzania.
WellShare operates as a community engagement catalyst in Tanzania. Bringing community members together yields great rewards. Simply put, we are stronger together.