MONITORING THROUGH COMMUNITY HEALTH CLUBS:
Monitoring of health promotion achievements has always been considered a challenge, because individual hygiene behaviour changes are difficult to quantify. However, the strengths of the Community Health Club Approach is that it can ensure that detailed monitoring to be done, not only by project management staff, but also by the community themselves. Because the health clubs are trained to keep accurate records of all aspects of their community, they also monitor the training and ensure the trainer is performing according to their own expectations. This provides the project planners with a self monitoring system which is cost effective because activities do not have to be supervised continually by the line manager.
The key to the monitoring system is the Membership Card.
A membership card is issued to each member, listing the topics to be covered and recommended practices. It should be developed in conjunction with the health workers, and programme managers at the training workshop based on formative research within the community.
It has been found that when membership cards are distributed at the first health club meeting, they mobilise others to join, because people are convinced of the seriousness of the programme and want to join so that they too can have a card.
The membership card is the key to the structure of the whole project and is essential in a number of ways:
1.It provides a sense of identity
2.It encourages people to join
3.It shows the seriousness of the project
4.It gives members an overview of what they will learn
5.It provides targets in terms of recommended changes
6.It enables the facilitator to quantify community attendance
7.It allows the community to hold the facilitator accountable
8.It provides a monitoring tool for programme managers
9.It is an overt symbol of the Community Health Club
10.It prevents gatecrashers from reaping unearned benefits