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A Conceptual Model for Empowerment of the Female Community Health Volunteers in Nepal

In: Business and Management

Submitted By Montwedi
Words 3672
Pages 15
Education for Health, Vol. 16, No. 3, November 2003, 318 – 327

COMMUNITY-RELATED ISSUES

A Conceptual Model for Empowerment of the Female Community Health Volunteers in Nepal
SARALA SHRESTHA Institute of Medicine, Tribhuvan University, Maharajgunj, Kathmandu, Nepal

ABSTRACT Context: The existing top-down approach of the training is not appropriate to empower the community health volunteers to produce a sustainable change in their performance. Objective: To propose a conceptual model that relies on Freire’s theory of empowerment education and the participatory action research methodology to empower the female community health volunteers (FCHVs) to increase their consciousness, competence and confidence in performing their job responsibilities. Method: The model explains the empowerment phenomenon as a process and outcome. As a process it occurs in the form of repeated reinforcement cycles with alternating activities of action and reflection and includes developing awareness, skills and confidence among FCHVs through small group activities. As an outcome, it results in the change in FCHVs’ performance in increasing contraceptive acceptance among the rural women of reproductive age group. Conclusion: It is hoped that empowerment of FCHVs will bring sustainable change in their performance and will consequently produce notable improvement in the health of women and children in particular and in the community in general. KEYWORDS Empowerment, community health volunteer, participatory action research, contraceptive acceptance.

Context
The use of community health volunteers to provide basic health care to the community has now become a common practice in many countries. In fact, in
Author for correspondence: Sarala Shrestha, Professor in Nursing, Maharajgunj Nursing Campus, Institute of Medicine, Tribhuvan University, Maharajgunj, Kathmandu, Nepal. Tel:...

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