Monday, January 26, 2015

First day of Focused Medical

Map pins of student locations

Student showing where is lives on the map
Monday started the focused medical training for the Barefoot Doctors Training 2015. The students have been here now for 3 weeks and have a great foundation laid for the intense medical portion of the course.  We started with introductions and had everyone pair up to introduce each other.  Everyone was to tell something of significance that happened over the last year. Along with this we had all the students and instructors place pins in a map showing where they live. This is a very fun and interesting activity that everyone enjoys. The students are spread across the country of Burma and represent many different tribal groups.

Ram Bo Kim
Ram Bo Kin had a fascinating but concerning report.  He lives near a town called Myintkyina. He was very busy this last year treating refugees that are in his area. There are 69 families that have been displaced from their homes due to fighting. He has treated 69 families spread out in his area. This could be between 300 – 500 people. The main issue he treated was the rampant diarrhea problem that was spreading quickly. He decided not to just treat the symptoms but to educate the refugees on hygiene and how to prevent the spread of diarrhea. By addressing the issue in this way he helped the entire affected population and very likely saved some lives. He would run himself ragged if he tried to treat the symptoms of 500 people living in a primitive environment and who undoubtedly continued to spread the infection and become infected again and again. This is a perfect example of what we are trying to teach the students. He did a great job! Another surprising detail was that this refugee camp is deep inside Burma and was totally unknown to most of us. Usually refugee camps are in neighboring countries.  

We also discussed the growing drug problem in the Shan state of Burma. Several of the students live in this state and we asked them to confirm some of the reports we had heard that up to 80% of the youth in this state have an increasing drug problem with Heroin. To our shock they confirmed this was the case. This is a mostly Christian area and fortunately the local churches are stepping up to try and address the problem. This is a complex issue, but many people there are being targeted and the drug problem is being forced on their area by outsiders. I expect this issue will come up later in the course and we will report more in depth at that time.
Getting new books

The students were issued there 2nd textbook, the Burmese Border Guidelines. This is a much more technical and difficult book to read than their first textbook, but it includes more in-depth medical information.
The last thing we covered was defining our clear expectations for the course. The students also listed out what they expect to get out of the course.  Here is a list of some of the expectations we have of the students.
1.     Summarize the patient log books
2.     Students present reports on assigned chapters.
3.     Case presentations
4.     Explain pictures of patients
5.     Report on health official contacts that they were supposed to initiate since last class.
6.     Report on forming a health committee in their areas.
7.     Be able to send an email and look up a disease on the Internet.

Writing out objectives of the course

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Final Day of CHE Training and Certificates!

Today's training started out with a focus on home visits and the factors that are instrumental in helping families adopt good health habits. They learned to praise the good practices they observe during the initial visits and, at the same time, use it to discretely notice unhealthy conditions and practices that may become the subject of future lessons. This lesson brought out the importance of asking 'open ended' questions to encourage more sharing and thus find out more of the family health history and situation. An emphasis was placed on building trust and encouraging a growing confidence that can lead to a willingness to change their behavior.

The next lesson covered the use of a 'baseline survey' to record the health conditions of the community so that progress can be measured as time passes. This information is valuable when evaluating the methods used to foster good health practices. There were two types of surveys introduced.
The afternoon started off with a lesson on using picture booklets especially as a follow up on health lessons given. The students discussed the advantages of using picture booklets and why they would enhance learning home treatment and prevention. An explanation was given as to the separate sections of the picture booklets and the important points of how to present the material.

Lastly, the students were asked to answer some evaluation questions of this week's training.  Some of the questions were: 1) Name one or two core values which you understand better now because of the training this week? 2) What new ideas did you gain this week? 3) What is something new that you gained from this training that you will do when you go back to your community? 4) What was most useful to you?

At the end of the day, certificates of completion were presented to each student in recognition of their participation and hard work as they discovered new principles, practiced new teaching methods and processed a lot of new material throughout the week - David Crist

Jung remarked how wonderful it has been to have David Crist and Joanna Geiger back for this CHE training. He noted, "They are spiritually mature, understand the culture, and are, most of all, humble servant leaders."  He also added his thanks to everyone for your support and prayers for this ministry and the students.
As Dr. Bjorn Nilson and Rick Astone arrive to continue the medical training of our students, look forward to more reports and updates on the Barefoot Doctor School.  Thanks for reading these posts, and thanks for your prayers.
Jon Ulm

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Day Four of CHE Training

Today's training began with a review of the CHE core values. The review began with Pastor Jung sharing his experience in helping a northern Thailand village install a water system. He told the students that, because of his using the core values to guide him through the process of working with the village leadership, money and time was saved as well as a sustainable system of ongoing village run maintenance was established.
 The students were then asked to identify activities in the project that indicated one or more of the core values taking place. They were quick to point out the significance of the large amounts of time and effort Pastor Jung spend in building relationships with government and local leadership. They also pointed to the ownership the community expressed in the water system by the money, labor and their own resources they contributed. This review exercise underscored the core values through a real project and gave them a practical example of how they could put the core values to use in their own context.

The core values review led into a discussion about the importance of an invitation by those who need help and that it is crucial to the success of a project. They learned that an invitation was an indication of interest to improve and most likely would lead to positive change. They understood that an invitation from a family to have a Barefoot Doctor teach them about disease prevention was an indication that there would be a change in behaviors and the establishment of good health habits.

The afternoon sessions focused on the topics where health prevention could be taught in their communities. Their list was quite extensive but the most mentioned places were at church, schools, homes and mandatory community meetings called by community leaders. The point was then made that the main objective of teaching prevention was not information dissemination but changed behavior. One of the important conclusions made was that one of the most effective ways to encourage changed behavior is to build trust relationships where people know they are valued and loved - David Crist
Bolu's Testimony.
Hello, my name is Bolu from Gumling Village, Nongmong District, northern Myanmar.  This is my second year CHE training with David and Joanna.  I must admit that I did not fully grasp the CHE principles or core values we learned last year and how these principles would fit with my role as a barefoot doctor.  But this year studying more with David and Joanna has widened my horizons.  Now I see how important these principles and CHE methods are as tools to change people's attitude. These methods will help mobilize them, get their cooperation, and help us to be better facilitators.  I want to thank David and Joanna for teaching and leading us patiently and for making our class lively every day.  Now I have a better idea how I can be a better barefoot doctor by using CHE principles.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Day Three of CHE Training at the KLC

Here is a summary of Day Three from Joanna, one of the CHE instructors.

Today we had the participants do the heavy lifting.  The participants were split into groups, given a health topic and told to come up with an hour lesson.  We concentrated yesterday on creative teaching tools and have been trying to point out good facilitation techniques all week. 

Today many of the students used the tools we discussed yesterday, putting in practice what they learned.  We saw a lot of creativity with songs, skits and games.  Some tried different formats for their lessons and others incorporated riddles and a race!  We focused a lot on the difference between giving a lecture and facilitating learning. Many had to put into practice a style of learning they have never used before.  They did a great job working through initial discomfort and nerves!  
Our goal was that they might have a little practice in facilitation and crafting lessons.  We hope that the participants will be equipped to facilitate learning in their communities.  These could also help them with multiplication of their work where simple preventative lessons could make a big impact.
It's also a good practice to learn how to formulate questions to stimulate discussion.  They also had to learn to manage group work, keep on topic and manage the time in a lesson.  They all did a great job, especially giving feedback and helping create a safe place to make mistakes and learn how to do this "facilitation" thing better - Joanna Geiger -

Jung Dangshing sent me the teaching schedule for this week of CHE.  I thought you all might like to see it as well.