PACK Community

The current PACK Community programme is an expansion of pilot work conducted in the Eden district, Western Cape in 2013. Development and implementation has occurred in collaboration with the Western Cape Department of Health. Designed as a standardised orientation programme for the community health worker, it aims to cover the full scope of community health worker practice and is intended as an entry-level course for the new community health worker and to serve as a refresher course for those already working as community health workers. This programme will be delivered by Department of Health facilitators using a combination of interactive classes and work-integrated learning.

Once complete, PACK Community will be a comprehensive package that supports the community health worker’s day-to day work of delivering preventive, promotive and curative health services to communities. It comprises the following:

  • PACK Community textbook
  • PACK Community health check stationery
  • PACK Patient information leaflets
  • PACK Community practical workbook
  • PACK Community training manual and support materials
  • PACK Community Implementation support manual and assessment materials

The development of PACK Community thus far has drawn extensively on role-players in the delivery of community-based services, who have actively participated in the project’s PACK Community Development Advisory Group, clinical working groups and end-user testing groups to try ensure that PACK Community reflects the scope of practice of a community health worker in the Western Cape and contains guidance that is easy to use, reflects local priorities and is relevant for the setting for which it is intended.

PACK Community is being developed and implemented in a phased approach. Phase 1a development is complete, with implementation in the Western Cape currently underway. Phase 1b is in advanced stages of development.

Phase 1a

Phase 1a of the PACK Community program focuses on the department of health priority areas, and are structured under the following chapters:

  • Chapter 1: Health and health care in South Africa
  • Chapter 2: Being a community health worker
  • Chapter 3: Being a community health worker: caring for others
  • Chapter 4: Being a community health worker: caring for yourself
  • Chapter 5: Staying healthy: preventing infection
  • Chapter 6: Identifying resources in your community
  • Chapter 7: Visiting a household
  • Chapter 8: Conducting a household assessment
Phase 1b

Maternal and Newborn:

  • Chapter 9: Introduction to the mother and newborn care
  • Chapter 10: Care of the pregnant mother
  • Chapter 11: Postnatal mother and newborn
Phase 2
  • Basic procedures and use of equipment, as required for phase content
  • Child up to age 5
  • Chronic diseases and aging health
  • Sexual and reproductive health, contraception
  • Wound care
  • Mental health
    • Depression/anxiety
    • Substance abuse
  • Dementia
  • Musculoskeletal
Phase 3
  • The child over 5 years including school health
  • Adolescent health
Phase 4
  • PACK Communicate