Community Health Volunteers (CHV) in Maua ward, Igembe South sub-county have called upon the residents to maintain good hygiene since it is the main source of many diseases affecting the community.
The volunteers affirmed that it would be very helpful and prudent if the residents practiced the culture of keeping their environment clean at whatever cost to live a healthy life.
Speaking to KNA, the Community Health Assistant in Igembe South sub-county Purity Kaimuri Kinyaki maintained that good hygiene begins with proper facilities like toilets which allowed people to dispose of their waste appropriately preventing contamination of the environment they lived in.
Kaimuri was speaking during a community health volunteers clean up exercise within public offices in Maua town.
He added that they have played a key role in educating the residents on importance of having access to sanitation facilities that safely contained waste away from human contact to alleviate infections and diseases caused by bacteria and other germs.
She further noted that Maua ward has a total of 101 CHVs whom she works with to create awareness and promote necessary behavioural modification towards good health at both individual and community level.
Joseph Mworia, a CHV from Kilalai village, said their roles included giving health talks to the community on matters pertaining proper nutrition which embraces taking balanced diets, breastfeeding, family planning, vaccinations among others.
He said they conduct home visits at least twice a week to cover seven households per day adding that “the task sometimes involves a lot of walking from one household to another”.
Apart from home visit and creating health awareness, Mworia said that they also do follow ups on HIV and Tuberculosis cases, treat children and individuals affected by jiggers, fumigate their homes and educate the family on jiggers’ infestation.
“We also teach parents especially women on importance of kitchen garden and offer guidance and counseling to adolescent girls in the community,” said Joy Kawira, a CHV from Kaibu village.
Kawira further cited some of the challenges they face in the course of their work including lack of enough protective gears like gloves, gumboots, face masks, religious belief whereby some churches discouraged vaccinations among infants and lack of interest from community members.
Led by Kaimuri, the CHVs urged Meru county government to take heed of their plights including provision of protective equipment and consider giving them some stipends to at least facilitate their movement thereby easing their task to enable them reach a higher number of individuals who were in dire need of their services.
By Kamanja Maeria