Over 5000 unemployed community health workers have pleaded with the government to give them jobs following the recent announcement to employ 100,000 health care personnel in the country.
The Kenya Community Health Officers and Technicians (KCHOT) Secretary General (SG), Diana Muhandachi said while they support the government’s plans to ensure a healthy nation, the government should prioritize the plight of the unemployed community health workers in the country who have not been recognized.
“We are requesting the government to engage qualified unemployed community health officers to ensure all households are reached and adopt the Covid-19 prevention measures through utilizing community health structures other than using more resources to train people without community health background,” said the SG.
The SG said the health workforce is a crucial element to combat the spread of Covid-19 pandemic and there is need for a comprehensive package for health service delivery in the country from the National government to the counties cascading to the community level that align with the Universal Health Care agenda.
Muhandachi said the country has only 1750 employed community health attendants who only form 17 percent of the required workforce to run the 6, 335 health centers in the country.
She said over 63,350 community health attendants in the country are volunteers pleading with the government to consider employing them first before using more resources to bring on board additional workers yet the welfare of the existing officers is under looked.
They appealed to the government to recognize their existence and look into the plight of the unemployed qualified community health officers at the same time advocating for a national registered regulatory body to protect the scheme of service for community health workforce in the ministry of health.
The association reiterated that strong health care structures are the foundation for disease prevention and health promotion and hence reduction in the burden of disease.
“As the country combats COVID-19, community health structures will become critical in ensuring that all households are reached with correct information as well as preventive measures,” noted Diana in her speech.
By Joseph Kamolo