What are the Health Promoters doing next to their ongoing health educational activities?
HPSA has seven different programmes running in many under-resourced townships and rural areas near to Cape Town, South Africa.
These Health Promoters @ Programmes are aimed at supplying vital health education to some of the most vulnerable people in South Africa, where the need is the greatest. Brief descriptions of these programmes are:
HP@ Community: Community centres are fundamental to the Work HPSA does in the under-resourced townships of South Africa. These centres offer health education and support, as well as linking attendees to other support services. Community members attend sessions faithfully and enthusiastically. These centres also operate as resource centres for other HPSA outreach initiatives (see below) and for ongoing training of HPSA staff. There is a great need for expansion into new communities.
HP@ School: Many students in South African schools do not have enough access to health education so HPSA staff train learners and parents in health education as well as helping schools with their health initiatives. This is vital work, as catching children when they are young means they have a better chance of a healthy life. HPSA only works with primary schools in the Western Cape.
HP@ Home: South African women are extremely vulnerable and disempowered, due to wides pread poverty, poor education, few employment opportunities, and high levels of violence. So HPSA offers supportive and highly empowering series of health and emotional education workshops for women, called GrowStronger! These workshops have remarkable effects, as women emerge from them empowered and more able to care for themselves and their families, as well as improving their chances for employment.
HP@ Crèche: Many caregivers in some areas of South Africa don’t know enough about health, hygiene and nutrition, due to lack of training. So HP @ Crèche programme is aimed at educating crèche teachers to improve the health and hygiene practices they use as they care for these vulnerable children. HPSA staff is actively teaching in crèches in townships near Cape Town.
HP@ Winery: Since alcohol and drug addiction, poor health, dysfunctional families, and violence affect many of the workers in wineries in the southern-most part of South Africa, HPSA has made arrangements to partner with other agencies and some wineries. These partnerships provide health education for the workers, in an effort to improve their health knowledge, and their general health.
HP@ Work: Currently, absenteeism from work due to illnesses (statistics show that flu, colds, gastroenteritis, back problems, depression) has reached critical proportions in South Africa. Since most of these illnesses can be prevented or managed better if workers had more health education, HPSA has started educating workers to improve their health and hygiene practices. These workshops are received very well.
HP@ Church: As at least 69% of South Africans report they are spiritually / religiously inclined, HPSA initiated the HP @ Church programme. This programme aims at training spiritual leaders (priests, pastors etc.) as Health Promoters, who then educate their congregants in health,hygiene and lifestyle knowledge. The potential is enormous!
HP@ Mkhulus: Over 4 million elderly South Africans over the age of 60 live in vulnerable communities these days. This elderly population is extremely poor, mostly unemployed, unhealthy and illiterate. As Health Promoters we feel a heartfelt urgency to help elders learn how to improve their health with health education. Improved health would enable them to cope better with their responsibilities, as well as improving their quality of life. Elders have consistently expressed their appreciation of our health training.