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close this bookTraining Manual in Combatting Childhood Communicable Diseases Part I (Peace Corps, 1985, 579 pages)
close this folderModule 2: Primary health care
View the documentBehavioral objectives
Open this folder and view contentsSession 5: Primary health care
Open this folder and view contentsSession 6: Health care delivery systems
View the documentSession 7: The role of the peace corps volunteer in primary health care in primary health care
Open this folder and view contentsSession 8: Factors affecting health

Session 7: The role of the peace corps volunteer in primary health care in primary health care

TOTAL TIME: 2 hours


An awareness of how the Volunteer's duties are interlinked with the host country's overall health plans can help the Volunteer make better choices in carrying out the tasks included in their job assignments. In this session trainers, participants, host country and other agency representatives have an opportunity to clarify their expectations and understanding of their roles. Through short presentations and a panel discussion, the agency representatives present information and answer the questions developed in Session 6 concerning the PCV's role in the host country's efforts to accomplish their health goals.


· To clarify expectations about the role of the Volunteer in PHC. (Steps 2-4)
· To define the organization and priorities of the host country and international agencies. (Step 2)
· To determine where PCV duties link with and contribute to their host country's primary health care activities and plans. (Steps 4)


- The list of questions generated in Session 6 to address to the panel.
- Persons (Volunteers) with strong language capabilities to act as moderators and, if needed, as interpreters.
- Representatives of Host Country and International Agencies.


A comfortable meeting room for the panel discussion, newsprint and markers, any special materials such as audio-visual aids requested by the panelists.


Trainer Note

This session will vary depending on the location of the training center (e.g., capital city vs. rural training site), and the availability of Ministry officials and representatives of international agencies. If the Trainees have just arrived in the country and have not been exposed to any cross-cultural or language training, this session should be scheduled for a later date.

Prior to the outset of the actual training course, the trainer or the country staff should contact representatives from several agencies, particularly the Ministry of Health and the Ministries under which the participants will be working, but also including WHO, UNICEF, USAID, and CDC. Invite representatives from host organizations (maximum five) to attend this session and lunch or refreshments immediately following. Provide the guests with:

- An agenda for this session (i.e., training objectives, sequence of speakers and topics)
- An overview of the training course goals and objectives
- The projects the participants will be involved with.

Ask the official agency representatives to present a five - minute talk concerning the following suggested subjects:

- Official government health policy/plan
- Structure of the government and interrelationships of the various ministries
- The National health care delivery system
- The role of the PCV in the country
- The general role and activities of WHO and country specific WHO activities
- The role of USAID in promoting PHC activities, i.e., which ones they have chosen to support and why.

Invite the Peace Corps Country Director(s) and APCD for health to attend these presentations. Have the representatives arrive in time to look over the list of questions the participants would like them to address. Explain that these issues will be dealt with during the discussion following their presentations.

If no one in the training group has a command of the language, request a current Volunteer or a bilingual language instructor to act as an interpreter and moderator for this session and to translate the list of questions generated by the group.

Help the moderator prepare for his or her role prior to the session. If primary health care is a sensitive issue in the host country, discuss with the moderator hew to manage the open forum such that the climate is appropriate and comfortable for all involved.

Step 1 (15 min)
Introduction of the Agency Representatives

Welcome and introduce each of the representatives. Have the moderator introduce the training group to the panelists, giving a brief profile of the general background of the participants. (This may be done on an individual basis if language is not a barrier and the group is not small.)

Step 2 (40-50 min)
Prepared Presentations

Ask each representative to give his or her presentation.

Trainer Note

Ideally, begin the presentations with the representative of the MOH followed by representatives of other ministries, WHO, UNICEF, USAID, CDC, and so forth.

Be sure that everyone is aware that there will be ample time for questions following all the presentations.

Step 3 (35 min)
Questions and Answers

After the representatives have finished their presentations, ask the moderator to lead an open forum for questions and answers.

Trainer Note

Ask the moderator to:

- Keep the pace moving and guard against any one panelist being called upon too little or too much;

- Encourage discussion among the panelists;

- Use the list of questions developed and reviewed from Session 6 as a basis for the open forum, but also allow follow-up questions as the time permits;

- Intervene if any questions seem misdirected, culturally insensitive, or too political. (The review process recommended in Session 6 should help to minimize the potential for this type of occurrence.)

Step 4 (20 min)

Have the moderator close the session by asking the participants and guests to reflect for a moment on the information gained from this session, Ask them to work together to develop a list of the three to five most important goals they would want to see these Peace Corps Volunteer's accomplish during their two year service. Afterwards, thank the representatives for attending this session and invite them to join the training group for lunch or for refreshments.

Trainer Note

Taking into consideration the cultural norms and the constraints of the training schedule , arrange a lunch, dinner, or at least simple refreshments to follow the panel discussion. This informal time provides an opportunity for more discussion.