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Private Community Health Providers’ (PCHP) Training Program

Building capacity of drug-sellers and non-graduate providers to support public health priority services

Private Community Health Providers (PCHP) play a vital role in health care service delivery in Bangladesh. This health service provider group, which includes pharmacists, drug sellers, and non-graduate practicing health providers, is often the first point of contact at the community level for minor ailments, such as diarrhea, cough and fever. Unfortunately, these providers have little or no formal training and lack the skills needed to deliver service at a minimally acceptable level. To help build some capacity, SMC came forward with a Health Provider Training Program (HPTP) in 1986 and has been implementing this since then. The program aims at developing a group of trained, motivated and proactive PCHPs, who can provide quality information and services to the customers they serve and can play a role in limiting irrational use of drugs including misuse of antibiotics.

Under the current phase of the program implementation, SMC has selected 22,000 providers who will receive both basic and refresher training and regular monitoring visits from the PCHP monitoring and supervision team as part of providing on-site assistance. The providers are selected based on certain eligibility criteria that include, among others, involvement in this profession at least for the last three years, have a minimum SSC level education and be willing to attend two days of basic and later one day of refresher training, and then act as a referral agent for public health priority services. The providers have been selected from 19 priority districts, where family planning performance is comparatively lower and child mortality rate is higher.

The trainings are organized by four training teams, consisting of three members in each, located at Sylhet, Comilla, Dhaka and Barisal. In order to provide quality training by experts and better workload management, SMC selected OGSB to assist the development of training curriculum and facilitate the training sessions.

The training curriculum include family planning, rational use of drugs, prevention and treatment of pneumonia, malnutrition, health and hygiene, RTI/STI prevention, treatment and prevention of tuberculosis and safe motherhood. These trainings aim at helping pharmacists and drug sellers to:

-better understand common childhood illnesses such as diarrhea and dehydration, iron deficiency anemia, fever and malnutrition
-better understand reproductive health needs, including healthy timing and spacing of pregnancies
-encourage the potential users to use contraceptives, oral rehydration therapy, zinc tablets, safe delivery kits, sanitary napkins and micronutrients
-provide counseling and refer potential clients for long acting contraceptive methods
-limit irrational use of drugs including misuse of antibiotics

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