Siaya county government will use Community Health Volunteers to promote food production at the household level, area governor Cornel Rasanga has said.
Rasanga said that the success of the community health volunteers module in the health sector, if replicated in the agricultural sector, will enable the county achieve food security, which is one of the agenda four pillars.
He was speaking at the Catholic Medical Mission Board (CMMB) offices in Wagai, Gem Sub County while flagging off 145 bicycles donated to community health volunteers by the World Bicycle Relief.
The governor said as part of the programme, the CHVs (known locally as Nyamrerwa) will be inducted in basic agricultural production training and skills to operate some tools to enable them impart the same to villagers that they serve.
“Community health volunteers have played an important role in improving health indicators in the county. It is high time we use them also in the agricultural sector to improve food security,” said the governor.
Rasanga said that Siaya county government had already secured some funds from the World Bank to train the CHVs and have them undertake basic agricultural extension services.
Addressing the occasion, County Executive Member for Health, Dorothy Owino hailed the role of the CHVs towards the attainment of the Universal Health Care in the county.
With the Universal Health Care programme set to kick off in January next year, Owino said the CHVs will be relied on heavily to promote primary health care in their respective villages.
She said that the county government’s health department was committed to strengthening its facilities to meet the national targets.
“Already, all our level one, two and three health facilities are providing free services to the public,” said the county health minister.
Catholic Medical Mission Board programme manager, Hillary Ngeso said they were working with 276 CHVs in Alego / Usonga, Gem and Ugunja constituencies to reduce HIV/AIDS infections and mortality.
“Through CHVs, we are closely monitoring 5,513 people living with Aids to ensure that they do not default in taking anti-retroviral drugs and living positively” he said adding that the donation of bicycles will help in the CHVs mobility.
The occasion was also attended by the World Bicycle Relief global program director, Eric Shaw who said the organisation had donated over 19,000 bicycles to students country wide.
By Philip Onyango.