Kruy Varin is a midwife at a clinic in Kompong Thom, a rural province in Cambodia. Varin’s education and training as a midwife focused on midwifery theories, technical skills, and practices for antenatal and postnatal care and delivery. However, her training did not include how to interact with patients, nor how to counsel patients on various health topics. Varin admits that she was harsh with her patients, even unfriendly and impolite. Because of this treatment, some of her patients did not want to meet with her, foregoing the important health care she could provide, especially to pregnant women.
All this changed after Varin participated in training courses through the TOGETHER project.
Building Health Care Providers’ Confidence and Capacity
The TOGETHER project, lead by Adventist Relief and Development Agency (ADRA) in Canada with generous support from Global Affairs Canada, is working with remote and indigenous communities in Cambodia, Kenya, the Philippines, and Uganda to ensure that the most vulnerable people, especially girls and women, can exercise their health-related human rights.
One way TOGETHER achieves this is by strengthening the ability of healthcare providers to deliver quality services to their patients. Sometimes this happens through the provision of equipment and resources. Other times, as in the case with Varin, it is through professional trainings that build health care providers’ capacity and confidence.
Making a Difference
Varin attended three trainings from the TOGETHER project. One focused on sexual and reproductive health and rights and gender topics. Another delved into counseling for youth and survivors of violence and abuse. The third training centered on nutrition counseling and parenting skills through learning through play.
“I have been re-energized in my work,” Varin said. She now spends more time with patients. Sometimes she stays overnight at the health center to receive patients. These changes have led to an increase in the number of patients coming for the care they need.
Before the trainings, Varin did not have specific skills or experience related to sexual health and rights and gender equality awareness or an in-depth understanding of gender-based violence. After participating in the TOGETHER trainings, Varin has undergone many changes. She is now confident as she counsels her patients and other people in her community. This has made the people who come for health services feel satisfied and confident in her.
Varin says she is grateful to the supporters of TOGETHER, a program that has provided capacity-building opportunities through trainings. “I hope to complete more training sessions in advanced counseling, mental health, and anything else related to midwifery and nursing,” she said.