10.12 The role of the health post, health centre and District Health Office in IRS operations
Now that IRS will be decentralised to the health post level, the responsibility of planning, and organising a spray operation is shared between the District Health Office, the Health Extension Supervisor (at the health centre) and you, the Health Extension Worker or Practitioner (at the health post).
Decentralisation of the IRS operation has several advantages compared to the previous method of planning and undertaking it from the district. For example:
- The operation could be more quickly organised at community level and implemented to control epidemics.
- The spraying is undertaken by you, an important and familiar person in the community, and trusted spray operators selected from the community; this will increase acceptability of the operation.
- Pumps will now be available at the health post and can be used for other malaria control purposes, such as larviciding whenever necessary.
Your responsibility in IRS operations in the village will be to:
- Select capable spray operators from the community.
- Train the spray operators for 5–7 days; (spray techniques, communication, safe handling of chemicals, etc).
- Plan when to start and finish the IRS operation in your village; consult also the village leaders.
- Undertake the IRS operation as the leading person guiding and supervising the spray operators.
- Mobilise the community to cooperate and participate.
- Educate the people about the benefits of IRS and what to do after their houses are sprayed.
- Keep records of your daily output and usage of insecticides.
The operation you undertake in your village will be supervised by the Health Extension Supervisor at the health centre and experts from the District Health Office. They will provide you with any technical support and equipment that you need (spray pumps, insecticides, spray pump spare kits, tool kits for pump maintenance, personal protective equipment), and answer any questions you might have.