Kisumu County makes a significant step in primary healthcare as 469 Community Health Workers (CHWs) graduate in a colourful ceremony giving impetus to community health services in the area.
Governor Prof. Anyang’ Nyong’o presided over the graduation ceremony of the CHWs and awarded them with certificates and health kits at Chiga Health Centre, Kisumu East Sub-County on Wednesday.
The graduands drawn from Kisumu East Sub County are part of the 2998 CHWs the County has empowered to promote community health services across its seven sub-counties.
The County Health Department in partnership with other stakeholders sponsored the CHWs for an intensive 12-day training held over the last 6 months to improve their skills and efficiency.
While giving his speech, the Governor acknowledged the role of the CHWs in generating vital health data at the household level and in delivering high impact community health interventions.
“It gives me immense pleasure to celebrate the graduation of Community Health Volunteers – our frontline agents in the push for better healthcare for the people of Kisumu County. Community health provides an avenue for further expanding access to health care by availing this service at your doorstep,” Nyong’o asserted.
The Nyong’o led administration has invested heavily in promoting community health services and is the first County to fully digitize the community health system running the Ministry of Health Electronic Community Health Information System (eCHIS) application.
The technology allows the department to have real time data granulated up to the community for primary health care programming and planning.
The household visit by CHWs generates data on children born, those immunized, sick, pregnant women and other health information in the community. Additionally, they are equipped to conduct accurate assessments, and diagnose and treat common childhood illnesses such as diarrhea, malaria, malnutrition and pneumonia.
By this investment, the lakeside County envisions to significantly reduce preventable maternal and child deaths and improve health outcomes for mothers, newborns and young children for generations.
The County boss further stated that the CHWs would also entrench healthy community norms and strengthen the community health systems that will lead to the overall reduction of the disease burden in the region.
Speaking at the same event, Ag. CECM Health and Sanitation Dr. Gregory Ganda said the CHWs played a pivotal role in the sector to achieve Universal Health Coverage.
“Kisumu County leads in the country by spending over Sh100 million annually on Community Health services because it forms the basis of enhancing the quality and healthy lifestyle for the locals,” stated Ganda.
At the same time, Ganda lauded Governor Nyong’o for the landmark development achievements in the health sector that have placed Kisumu as a medical tourist destination in the region.
In the latest effort by the County to expand access to quality health care services in the area, Nyong’o commissioned Nyalunya and Chiga Health Centers maternity units and Obino dispensary to serve some 21,086 residents within Kisumu East Sub County.
According to Nyong’o, the operationalization of the two new maternity units and Obino dispensary will enable the community access to a wide range of safe reproductive health services as well as reduce the distance previously travelled by the locals in search of health services.
Kisumu East Sub-County Medical Officer of Health Dr. Lisa Amoya welcomed the establishment of the Obino dispensary saying the locals would be reprieved since they used to trek for over 5 kilometres to find the nearest health facility.
“With the unveiling of Obino dispensary, the surrounding community will enjoy better health services closer to them and get relieved from travelling to Chiga health Center which is 5KM away,” said Amoya.
The new health unit constructed by Kisumu County at a cost of Sh14 million serves 40 patients daily and has additional support utilities of two ambulances for emergency referrals and a water borehole to serve the community.