The content of training programmes for THPs should be focused upon teaching competence and skills within the framework of primary health care and should be based upon information from the following three sources:
1. What the community wants and needs to improve their health
This information can be obtained from assessing the health conditions of communities as described in Step I-B & C and can be used as a basis for identifying specific knowledge and skills that THPs will need to provide the desired PHC services.
2. What the THPs want to learn
Information about what things THPs would like to learn to improve their practice can be obtained if they have been involved in the preliminary planning, as discussed in Step I-B. When THPs realize that you have included their needs for acquiring health knowledge in their training programme, they will become more committed to the learning process, and thereby improve their own practices.
3. What the health agency's (government or non-government) policies, priorities, and objectives are for training THPs.
Government and nongovernmental agency policies must be carefully followed in designing a training programme, as these may determine and regulate what healers can or cannot be taught or what services they can perform.
Sometimes, policies may be flexible and will allow opportunities to demonstrate new approaches to training healers. For example, in Bangladesh, two NGO-sponsored training programmes for TBAs both followed government guidelines for training TBAs. However, the projects differed with regard to the scope of training and in providing follow-up support. One project limited their training of TBAs to the pre-natal and birthing phases, while the other widened the scope of training to include pre- and postnatal services to mothers and children from conception until two months after birth.