Voluntary cooperation program: Making services sustainable

Posted on 18 December 2018

Categories: News

Ourfive-year voluntary cooperation  program with Global Affairs Canada(GAC) is now in its fourth year,  and the volunteer cooperants who workin the field continue to share  their know-how and skills to further expand the intervention capabilities  that have been implemented over the past three years.

In thethree countries targeted by  the program—Tanzania, Bolivia and Honduras—exchanges with local professionals  are increasingly adapted to well-defined needs and issues, to ensure  that dental, visual and homeopathic  services are sustainable after the current  program ends in 2020.

Considerable follow-up is planned  to ensure that new skills are put into practice and adjustments are made as  needed, with a view to providing better  qualityof care. At the same time, the  transfer of knowledge is ongoing, with  theoretical and practical training in  dentistry, optometry and homeopathy.

In Tanzania and Bolivia, we are bolstering  clinical work in dentistry and optometry with continued training on  the use of specialized equipment, diagnoses,  various treatments, and the protection  of patients and professionals.

In Honduras, six dispensaries are  benefitting from the transfer of frontline and second-line homeopathy skills  and the duplication ofhomeopathic  remedies, while basic knowledge in  family health through homeopathy is  spreading thanks to training for new  community leaders, health promoters  and high school students.

In all three countries, screening  and prevention methods for various problems and illnesses have also been  implemented. The volunteer cooperants  havemade these aspects of community  health a priority by training  local professionals and raising awareness  among numerous stakeholders  involvedin citizens’ groups, municipalities,  health institutions and educational  institutions, who then become  multiplying agents.

TSF and itsvolunteers, who are  now well established in two hospitals, six clinics and six dispensaries, and  recognized by several decision-making bodies, can also address three cross-cutting  themes: gender equality, which encompassesequal access to jobs in  health institutions, for example; the environment,which involves, among  other things, improved management of biomedical waste; and governance,  which can be seen in the transparency  ofexchanges with authorities and the  population or enhanced organizational  structures. 

Raising awareness of progress  made in the field and sharing  the volunteer cooperants’  experiences are an integral part  of our volunteer cooperation  program. We recently  participated in the Association  des optométristes du Québec’s  Salon Vision, the Canadian  HomeopathicConference in  Ontario and the Zero Waste  Festival. We also discussed  best practices at the annual  conference for International Volunteering Cooperation  Organisations (IVCO), which took  place in Montréal this fall.