In the last few days, a large group effort has been taking place at GHEI…
The Health Team has been gearing up for a new season of surveying and has adapted into Twi the evaluation questionnaires to be implemented by Community Health Workers and then used to evaluate the success of GHEI’s malaria program. Carly Edwards, Mensah Gyapong, and Aggie Obeng have been meticulously going over each question to get meaningful translations that maintain the gist of the English question, but are phrased in a culturally relevant way. This task has also greatly benefited from the language expertise of Happy Nkrumah and Clement Donkor (and anyone else in the office) to offer suggestions. Here’s an example:
English: Can we enter your room so that you can demonstrate how you sleep under your bednet?
Twi: Me srɛ wo, wobɛtumi ama y’akɔ wo dan mu na woakyerɛ me deɛ wo yɛ wo ntontom dan no ɛberɛ a woreba abɛda no? (I beg you (Please), can you allow me to enter your room to show me how you do your bednet when you are sleeping?)
This new survey was presented to a brand new expanded group of CHWs this Friday. It was the third time in as many weeks that they had met for training on data collection in preparation for the new surveying missions. This month evaluation surveys are being conducted in Soroano and in July, the team will be conducting evaluation surveys of Kojina and Humjibre, with the assistance of the Serve and Learn volunteers from abroad. Because bednets have been distributed in three communities (most recently in Kojina), the amount of surveys to be implemented is larger, so training was extended to GHEI’s YEP and ECL program volunteer teachers, who rolled up their sleeves and joined the Health Team to become proficient in data collection.
With the final draft in Twi, the group met on Friday to discuss the next few weeks of surveying. What is the initial verdict on the survey?
Dickson, Ampenkrom’s new district assemblyman: “It will make a positive difference. It means people can express themselves better…and it makes my job easier!” Dickson is finding scheduling his CHW responsibilities difficult, especially in light of his new role in his community. “It’s difficult finding the time, but it is important.”
Yaa Mary, veteran CHW: “I have been a CHW for four years; this is the first time it is in Twi. It is my language, I can understand it better. It will help.”
Felicity, who teaches English in the YEP program, and received a senior high school scholarship through GHEI: “The training is fine, it is not too difficult. Now [that it is in Twi], it is easier to ask the questions.” So do you think you’ll switch over to the Heath side of GHEI full-time? “No, being a teacher is still my favorite! I want to continue to teach.”
So: the new survey, translated from English into Twi in many group discussions in GHEI’s office, will be carried out by community members from Soroano, Humjibre, and Kojina, who are involved GHEI’s health AND education programs. These trained interviewers will survey their own communities in Twi using the newly translated Twi questionnaires, while Serve and Learn volunteers from outside Ghana come to help them out. This is a global group effort, but one that seems like business as usual here at GHEI.