A thorough training in acupuncture typically takes between two and five years, taking substantial commitment from trainees who often move to cities thereby severing links to their local communities. The costs of training compounds this, as education debts need to be paid back. Further, the economic and social expectations of trainees are increased as a result of their relocation. In this way the time taken to train, the cost of training and the dislocation of trainees prevent the development of local indigenous acupuncture services.
- Developing a training module to treat the 35 diseases that are most common in disadvantaged communities;
- Identifying and developing value-aligned partners in the field;
- Training Para-Acupuncture professionals through the partnering organisations; and
- Ongoing evaluation for effectiveness and efficiency.
This approach is low cost at the point of training and as a result at the point of service delivery. Further, the length of training prevents health practitioners severing links with their local communities, so allowing Barefoot Acupuncturists to work in and for their communities of origin.