Community Health workers in Kirinyaga will undergo training on handling, prevention of Coronavirus social stigma and home care guidelines.
The training targets to cover the entire county medical personnel and is sponsored by AMREF Health Africa.
Kirinyaga Governor Anne Waiguru said the partnership between AMREF and the county government is a huge success as many of the targeted workers will benefit from the training.
She said such a venture will go a long way in equipping healthcare providers as part of providing comprehensive health care to the county residents
“Apart from developing the human capital in the health sector, my administration has also undertaken massive infrastructural development in the sector,” she said.
The training, Waiguru said, will take one month and targets 1,500 community health workers including community health volunteers (CHVs) and community health extension officers.
While speaking at Thiba Health Center during one of the training sessions, the County Community Health Services Coordinator, Kagiri Gatama, said the training was a timely intervention that will build the capacity of community health workers to handle the coronavirus
and other health matters in the community.
Gatama said the role played by community health volunteers were key enabling them to penetrate the community and offer the much needed public health education.
“They will be trained on various aspects of Covid-19 and prevention of other communicable and non-communicable diseases so that they can in turn educate the public on how to deal with such ailments and avoid stigma against people suffering from them,” said the officer.
Gatama added that community health education has had a huge impact on reduction and prevention of many diseases.
He cited the drastic drop in malaria cases in the county where 360,000 cases were reported in 2005 but over time the disease prevalence has reduced to the current 25,000 to 30,000 cases per year.
This, he attributed to intensified community health promotion that included educating the county residents on the importance of sleeping under insecticide-treated mosquito nets as a containing measure.
Gatama said that the county no longer experiences epidemics such as diarrhea which has been the norm during the mango season, noting that through community health education, people have adopted good basic hygiene practices such as the washing of hands, fruits, and vegetables before eating
He said Kirinyaga has also been able to keep Covid-19 in check due to heightened public awareness campaigns that could not be successful without the input of the community health volunteers who are currently engaged in the Covid -19 accelerated prevention campaign.
The community health volunteers, he said, have also played an important role in educating the public on drug adherence which has reduced the number of people who are suffering or dying as a result of absconding from their drug routine.
“Some of these include hypertensive patients who would suffer strokes for failing to take their drugs as prescribed,” he said, pointing out that CHVs also provide an important link between the government and the community in matters concerning health.
Raymond Muhanji, a trainer from Amref Health Africa said the training program targets 31,820 community health workers in the country and after the induction phase, the rest of the training will be conducted through an online program whose participants have already been
The training will enable the volunteers to educate the community on how to treat Covid-19 patients now that focus has been shifted from hospital admissions to the home based care program.
Muhanji lauded the county government for the partnership which he said is part of AMREF’s Covid-19 response strategy.
The health sector in Kirinyaga has made great strides under the leadership of governor Waiguru with the biggest investment being the modern medical complex that will transform Kerugoya County Hospital from a Level Four to a Level Five facility.
The facility upon completion will offer the specialized services for which county residents are currently referred to facilities outside the county.
The county government has also embarked on improvement of dispensaries to enhance primary health care.
by Irungu Mwangi