Government Ministries of Health, NGOs, and other health agencies may have already established policies for how THPs should be trained and practice in their jurisdictions. Carefully review any documents that describe such policies and any regulations or guidelines that illustrate the scope or limitations of activities which THPs can carry out in PHC programmes. These policies should be used as guidelines when developing the content and other aspects of the training programme.
For example, the content of the four training projects evaluated in Ghana, Mexico, and Bangladesh was directly influenced by legal regulations and local government policies and priorities. The Government of Bangladesh, for example, had well-established policies for training TBAs, although there was some flexibility allowed for NGOs to modify this training according to conditions in different regions, as long as the major intent of the government policy was adhered to. Ghana, by contrast, had not yet formed specific policies to regulate the training of herbalists. In Mexico, on the other hand, the Government strongly advocated and supported this type of training.
Because the training of herbalists, bonesetters and spiritual practitioners is relatively new compared with the training of TBAs, existing policies for the former group are less well defined.