As COVID-19 became under control in many parts of Myanmar, and the SUNI -SEA project amended workplan was finalised, HelpAge International team in Myanmar prepared for a series of trainings to ensure that everyone involved in the project has a good understanding about the aim of the project and was equipped with knowledge of NCDs and skills to support community members for NCD and mental health screening and selfcare practices.
In June and July, we conducted a five-day long training in Pindaya Township, Southern Shan State and in Yangon. The training event in Pindaya township had 12 participants from Shwe Danu, which is a local non-profit organisation located in Southern Shan State. The training was also joined by six HelpAge team members. The Yangon training had 18 volunteers from Intergeneration Self Help Group (ISHG) from three regions: Yangon, Mandalay and Ayeyarwady and seven HelpAge team members.
To ensure that participants were engaged and enjoyed the training while learning new information, the trainings were designed to be interactive with discussions, brainstorm sessions, group discussions, presentations as well as some fun game activities that allowed participants to be creative.
The training course focused largely on the skills to use the mobile phone NCD self-care application so that following the training the volunteers would be able to advise older people who are at risk of NCDs or living with NCDs to use the screening application and learn about healthy self-care practices. The course also provided knowledge on NCDs and mental health conditions such as anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress (PTSD) as well as healthy lifestyle practices. The key part of the training was skill development and practice about how to use the screening measurement tools correctly such as the blood pressure machines, weighting scales and measuring tape for example. HelpAge also shared information on older people, health care and the ageing scenario in Myanmar, so that the participants understand well about the group that they will be working with.
The training team conducted pre- and post-test among participants on six key training areas:
- healthy lifestyle
- diabetes and hypertension
- NCDs in general
- health promotion
- continuum of care.
The post results from both trainings reflected better understanding among participants in all areas.
At the end of the training with participants demonstrating they are equipped with the knowledge and skills to use the mobile phone NCDs self-care application, as well as NCDs knowledge, this marks a significant step for the SUNI-SEA project in Myanmar. The team is more than ready to work with communities to enhance well-being both physical and mental health, in selected areas in Myanmar.