Massinga Training Centre
At the Massinga Centre for Continuing Education in Health (Massinga Training Centre) in rural Mozambique health workers learn to work with communities. Though a special Training of the Trainers program, health workers learn community participation and engagement methods in order to train other health workers. Many of the 17,000 health workers in Mozambique are not adequately trained to confront the new realities such as combating the HIV/AIDS pandemic. Training health workers to engage with communities is a major priority in strengthening the health system.
Training of Trainers
The mandate of the Massinga Training Centre is to transform health training--both undergraduate and postgraduate. At Massinga Centre, the continuing education of health workers and of teachers of health training institutions focuses on training of trainers (TOT) using a methodology developed in THRP. The key components of this methodology are community engagement, critical inquiry, discovery-based learning methods, and sustainable institutional change through curriculum reform and organizational development.
The continuing education methodology of Massinga Training Centre is informed by community partnerships that are characterized by mutual learning between the Centre and pilot communities. The term community participation is used to describe the THRP process of community development within a health context to inform training and contribute to community capacity-building. Through the methodology, health workers are challenged in their thinking, feeling, and behavior to transform their teaching and practice. The methodology takes into account the considerable challenge involved for this change to occur since front line personnel are poorly paid, work with limited resources, and have few opportunities for continuing education of a kind that offers career advancement. At the same time in the partnership, community members take ownership for influencing the health care system for better provision of services, all the while building their own capacity for better governance. In this way, health workers and the people they serve reduce the distance between each other. Massinga Centre is becoming nationally known as the field laboratory for effective community participation in action.