|Recording and Using Indigenous Knowledge: A Manual (IIRR, 1996, 211 p.)|
|Part 4 Mini-case studies - How development can build on IK|
Learning from local residents was a critical first step in the estabilishment of the Appropriate Community Managed Health Program (ACMHP) in Pinagsanjaan, Cavite, Philippines, begun by IIRR in spring 1994.
Villagers selected 14 community members to become core group leaders to conduct participatory action research. They included male and female villagers and represented different levels of education and economic status. After receiving training in participatory action research, they discussed their health concerns and then multiplied the discussions in groups of 12 to 20 villagers. The second phase consisted of data analysis and planning. Both were done by the villagers in close collaboration with IIRR staff.
The villagers expressed a clear concept of health and quality of life - health is not just the absence of sickness, but physical, mental, and social well being. But, perhaps most significant to the success of the planned health intervention, villagers were able to tabulate their health care needs in detail according to sex, marital status, and age, and to identify specific problems to be solved.
- lack of trained medical professionals in the villages.
- lack of both local and western-style trained birth attendants.
- non-functioning of the government clinic in the village.
- lack of medicine.
- drinking, gambling and drug addiction.
Based on the findings the health program has been able to direct proper attention to where it is needed in the community. The program has also adopted a broader view of health, to match the villagers' observation that stable and happy families and communitie produce healthy and happy people .
In particular. the program:
- trained 11 villagers a. voluntary health workers.
Trainees were selected based on criteria provided by the community and included farm wievs, spiritual healers, and young people. In order to reopen the clinic, the villagers set about raising funds to buy the necessary basic medical equipment
They are coordinating their activities with the township government doctor to arrange for supervision, back-up, and supplies.
- Identified herbal medicines which can be used to treat common illnesses
Some of these medicines have been tested and are recommended by the Philippine Department of Health; others were suggested by the villagers themselves. The clinic will be using and promoting both traditional and commercial drugs.
- will strengthen safe home delivery and local care after birth.
Village health workers will be trained by an indigenous birth attendant from another village.
- strives to improve social life in the village.
Young people organized themselves to promote sport in the village and solicited funds for sports equipment. They also performed dramas during village fiestas and revied poetry and balagtasan, a local form of debate in witch arguments are written and presented in poetry. The youth used these traditional means of communication to make their stand know on drinking, gambling, and drug addiction, and to raise awareness concerning these issues.
Compiled by Andrea G. Sales