On 18 October 2023, ASTHA organised a workshop with the aim of validating the draft version of the Community Paramedic (CP) Service Guideline. Community Paramedic (CP) Service Guideline will provide the practicing CPs with necessary rules and regulations to carry out their services. This document will be a handbook guiding them in their activities, thus lowering the risk of malpractices in the communities. The participants were mostly officials from the government’s Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS) and Directorate General of Family Planning (DGFP), along with some senior representatives from Community Paramedic Training Institutes. The objective of the workshop was to review the draft of the service guideline to ensure accuracy of the information and suggest the missing ones.
The event started with a brief introduction of the Community Paramedics and the importance of drafting a service guideline for them. The participants were then divided into four groups to review the draft community paramedic (CP) service guideline. After completing the group work, each group presented its feedback. The guests opined that the CPs are the first responders for their communities, and they have sufficient qualification to provide primary healthcare. Even they acknowledged that CPs can also be considered for positions of the Sub-assistant Community Medical Officers (SACMO), Health Assistants (HA) and Family Welfare Visitors (FWV), who are working with the local communities.
On another note, they suggested that the curriculum should be revised every 4/5 years, to keep up to date with the fast-developing medical science. In addition, it was also suggested to extend CPs involvement with the government’s immunisation program, Extended Program of Immunisation (EPI).
“ASTHA’s initiative to increase the health human resources, by educating the youth, is needed at every level. Skilled paramedics are extremely necessary at the communities, where regular doctors are hard-to-reach. In this regard, the service guideline will be very useful in their practices and assist them to do their services to the community diligently." - Dr. Anindita Shabnam Quarishi, Assistant Director, Assessment Team, Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS).
ASTHA team have already started incorporating the feedback received in the workshop, and the final draft of the guideline will be approved by relevant authority in the upcoming days.
This project is financed by Novartis, the Evi Diethelm Winteler Stiftung, and the Laguna Foundation, among other donors. It is part of the Swisscontact Development Programme, which is co-financed by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), Federal Department of Foreign Affairs FDFA.