Vietnam :the first CHC Country in Asia


In response to a strong request by the Ministry of Health, Danida agreed to sponsor the introduction of the Community Health Club (CHC) Approach, and the originator of the methodology, Dr. J. Waterkeyn (JW) was invited  to provide training and mentor local consultants so that  a pilot project could beset up to test its effectiveness.  The consultant was engaged for a preliminary assignment to review progress to date and to assist in providing sound training material so that the approach could be scaled up.

The Provinces chosen for the Pilot Project were Son La, PhuTho, Ha Tinh and Ninh Thuan.  Twelve villages in each Province will start CHCs making a total of 48 CHCs if each facilitator runs one club, although it would be hoped that they could manage two or three clubs depending on the size of the area, distance between homes and availability of transport and incentives to participate.  It is expected that each facilitator will aim for a CHC of 100 members, and if this is multiplied by the number in the households who will benefit from improved hygiene, it can be estimated that the programme will serve a minimum of 2,400 people, or twice that if each facilitator runs two clubs.

The Pilot project will be integrated into existing structures such as the Women’s Union, although it should be appreciated that CHC’s embrace the whole community, not just women, as men are as important as women when it comes to disease transmission., and the CHC provides a forum for open debate on subjects that my otherwise be taboo or ignored.

The CHC will also try to mould the training so that it results in outputs that will enable families to be recognised as Cultural Families, and for CHC Villages to have the honour of Cultural Villages. Thus the graduation which will reward those who have completed 24 topics, may also include the Cultural Family awards. It is expected that local dignitaries and village leaders will avail themselves and support those who attain this level of hygiene and that the Graduation will become a day of celebration that can be an ongoing reminder to maintain good hygiene standards.

It is expected that the training will begin in December and be completed by July 2010. However before this time it would be ideal if a second Stage of the Training were planned to enable all the criteria for a Cultural Family to be met. The 1st Stage focuses on water and sanitation, and home  hygiene, and aims to prevent common diseases such as diarrhoea, dysentery, cholera, helminthes, skin and eye disease, ARI’s as well as Swine flu, Avian Fly and Malaria. The 2nd stage should ensure that nutrition, child care, immunisation, good parenting, substance abuse and other social issues are addressed in a complete Tool Kit which will build on the knowledge gained in Stage 1.