Successful community outreach for Rheumatic Heart Disease project

On December 2nd Renny, Chris and Amy traveled to Kasambya Health Centre III to conduct an educational workshop on rheumatic heart disease (RHD) for the local village health team (VHT). Kasambya Health Centre III serves over 60 villages, including a few that can only be accessed by boat! It is one of the two sites where we will be launching a project to assess the impact of RHD on maternal outcomes this January. 19 team members attended this workshop, including the VHT director and 2 VHTs from each of the 9 parishes that Kasambya is divided into.

At the beginning of the day each VHT was asked to take a short quiz, which evaluated their baseline knowledge of primary prevention and diagnosis of RHD. The team then presented information regarding these questions and addressed common misconceptions about RHD and ultrasound. At the end of the presentation all of the VHTs retook the same quiz and were thrilled to see their scores improve.

The workshop was extremely successful, in large part due to the enthusiasm that each and every volunteer displayed. Their questions were well thought out and their desire to learn was truly inspiring. Each of these VHTs will be taking flip cards with the information that they gathered in the workshop out into the surrounding communities. It is now their job to inform all members of the community about prevention of RHD and the importance of diagnosing RHD, especially in pregnant women. Their involvement in the local community will be instrumental to the success of this project and we can’t wait to get started. Thank you Kasambya Village Health Team!

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