At least 200 members of Nakuru County’s public health committees have been given the training to improve their service delivery capabilities. In collaboration with Governor Lee Kinyanjui’s government, the Ministry of Health, the Global Fund, and World Vision Kenya, they launched the training program, which focused on mother and child health, data gathering strategies and procedures, and communicable disease treatment and control.
Dr. Benedict Osore, the County Director in Charge of Administration and Planning, believes that improving the competence of members of public health committees from across all 11 sub-counties is vital because they are a key human asset in grassroots healthcare management. Osore explained. “They play an essential role in building community health and well-being by offering strong linkages to primary health services and also fundamental health preventive and promotive services.”
During the training, the director noted that the county’s health department is implementing an accelerated campaign to address community-level virus transmission prevention. As part of the effort, health workers and volunteers were deployed throughout the villages to inform the public about the importance of adhering to all COVID-19 prevention measures as well as enforcing the prevention protocols.” Osore thanked the government and organizations for their collaboration and support.
The training provided by the Ministry of Health, the Global Fund, and World Vision Kenya is crucial, he said, because the county and the country as a whole are dealing with the COVID-19 outbreak, which cannot be effectively prevented or controlled without adequately equipped health care workers at a communal level.
Members of the community-based health committee are required to pass on the knowledge and skills they learned during the training program to community health volunteers in their respective sub-counties. Other topics covered in the program were resource mobilization, county finance management, and yearly work plan implementation.
As the country works toward universal health coverage, community-based health caregivers, according to Osore, play a critical part in the program, necessitating the need to invest in effective training activities. “We will continue to work with our development agencies and other stakeholders to ensure that the health workers have the skills they need to conduct their jobs effectively,” Osore said.
The Kenya Community Health Policy 2020–2030 was launched by Health CS Mutahi Kagwe in July 2020. Its mission is to develop community health services to empower individuals, families, and communities to achieve the highest attainable level of health.
Health workers are also being trained on how to identify and avoid human rights breaches when providing health services to the community, as well as how to ensure fair health coverage, according to Osore.
He went on to say, “We’ve provided training on the specific requirements of vulnerable and crucial populations, such as HIV-positive people and pregnant mothers. It is critical for health care providers to comprehend their experiences and how to treat these folks with respect.”
He stated that training community health workers on how to decrease the stigmatization of patients with terminal diseases were vital, as well as ensuring that healthcare staff followed medical ethics while performing their duties. “They’ve also been taught about their liberties and how to defend themselves while keeping their workplaces secure,” Osore explained.
The COVID-19 epidemic and severe acute malnutrition, according to Ms. Emily Lemanton, Project Officer at World Vision Kenya for the Global Fund TB, underlined the urgent need to strengthen health vulnerability at the grassroots level. The epidemic, she warned, was a menace to communities as well as families, causing public health problems.
Ritah Ochola, the county’s Community Health Strategy Focal Person, stated that, despite the fact that new infections have been rare recently, the county has urged all residents to continue to follow the established coronavirus preventive actions, such as donning face masks when in public and crowded places, following social distancing practices, and washing their hands on a regular basis.