Many healers have a high incentive to learn but have had little formal schooling. THPs have indicated in evaluations of training projects that they would like to have more training in other subjects. One of their suggestions was to learn to improve their reading and writing skills.
In Bangladesh, for example, one project included literacy as part of the training, and the TBAs indicated how grateful they were for this training. They said it not only helped them to read health education materials and to keep better client records, but that they were able to help some of the mothers improve their literacy skills as well.
Healers also have real economic needs. Since they work as private practitioners and are not paid by the health agencies who train them, they must rely on their clients or on other private sources, for financial support. A critical problem voiced by many healers is that they now perform additional PHC services in addition to their normal duties but receive little reward for their additional time and effort.
Some of these economic burdens can be eased by including in the training programme methods by which trainees can learn to develop income-generating activities. Some projects are already doing this by teaching herbalists how to cultivate herbs to sell in the market and how to keep bees and sell the honey. Others have taught TBAs how to start savings banks and develop community projects to generate income for their families.