At least 200 members of community health committees from Nakuru County have been trained in order to enhance their service delivery capacity.
The Ministry of Health, the World Vision Kenya and Global Fund, in partnership with Governor Lee Kinyanjui’s administration, rolled out the training program whose study areas included maternal and child health, data collection methods and techniques and prevention and management of infectious diseases.
According to County Director in charge of Administration and Planning, Dr Benedict Osore, capacity building of members of the community health committees from all the 11 Sub Counties is crucial since they are a critical human resource in healthcare management at grassroots level.
“They play an important role when it comes to improvement of community health and well-being by providing important links to primary healthcare services as well as delivery of basic health prevention and promotion services,” said Osore.
He said that the training by Ministry of Health, the World Vision Kenya and Global Fund is timely, given that the county and the country at large are facing the Covid-19 pandemic whose prevention and control cannot be effective without properly equipped community health workers.
The community health committee members are in turn expected to pass over knowledge and skills acquired during the training to community health volunteers operating in their respective sub-counties.
Other areas covered by the training included resource mobilization, management of the County funds and implementation of the annual work plans.
The Director noted that the training had also taken into account that the County’s department of health is implementing an accelerated Covid-19 prevention campaign targeting control of virus transmission at the community level.
He added, “The campaign involves health workers and community health volunteers who traverse the villages educating the public on the need to strictly adhere to all Covid-19 prevention measures and also enforcing the prevention protocols.”
Osore thanked the national government and the organizations for the partnership and support.
As the country gears up to achieve Universal Health Coverage, Osore said community health volunteers play a key role in the programme hence the need to entrench them in proper training initiatives.
We shall continue working with our development partners and the other stakeholders to ensure that the health volunteers are well equipped with adequate skills to do their work effectively,” Osore pledged.
In July 2020, Health CS Mutahi Kagwe launched the Kenya Community Health Policy 2020–2030. Its goal is to empower individuals, families and communities to attain the highest possible standard of health by focusing on strengthening community health services.
Osore added that the health workers were also being enlightened on how to detect or avoid human rights violations when delivering health services to the community and to ensure equitable health coverage.
“We have offered training on the unique needs of vulnerable and key populations, for instance, people living with HIV and the expectant mothers. It is important for the health workers to understand their experiences and how to deal with these people with courtesy,” he added.
It was critical, he observed, to train community health workers on how to reduce stigma and discrimination of patients with terminal illness and to ensure that health-care providers observed medical ethics in line of their duties.
“They have also been made aware of their rights and how to protect themselves while making their workplace environments safe,” said Osore.
Project Officer at World Vision Kenya for the Global Fund TB Ms Emily Lemanton said the Covid-19 pandemic and severe acute malnutrition underscored the urgent need to build health resilience at community level.
She said the scourge posed a threat to families and local communities sparking off public health concerns.
In her remarks County Community Health Strategy Focal Person, Ms Ritah Ochola noted that even though new infections have of late been minimal, the county has urged all residents to continue observing the laid-down coronavirus prevention measures such as wearing face masks properly whenever in public, washing hands regularly and observing social distancing.