The Kenyan government has been working hard to curb diseases such as malaria which have a high prevalence in the Nyanza region. Even though a lot has been done to lower the rate, the disease is still a problem especially now that we are experiencing lots of rainfall. Collective efforts together with community health volunteers (CHVs) are the key entry to the community to enable us to lower the prevalence rate at community and household level. When the Upendo Foundation has trained CHVs in the past they have been recruited by the government and this has created a demand for more volunteers from the community groups. Recently the Upendo Foundation trained a total of 36 CHVs on preventive healthcare measures. This was a good start and the participants appreciated the training and promised to give back to the community by putting into action what they have learned. With the knowledge they now have, they will be able to identify the sick and refer to the nearest hospital or health center for tests and treatment. This is also a benefit to the Ted Rayner Memorial Clinic. The CHVs will be able to sensitize the community to visit the clinic in case of any ailment since it is so much nearer than other facilities. As of now the CHVs will perform various activities such as testing for malaria and measuring blood pressure. The only challenge is the availability of resources. With the availability of more funds the CHVs will finish the training and be certified to work freely in their villages.
With more CHVs we will be able to prevent some unnecessary deaths and improve the health of many people as the CHVs will advise on health checkups as well also ensuring that those living on prescribed medication adhere to their courses of treatment. A healthy community is a wealthy community.
Thanks to the Amani U.K. for having enabled this training.
Winnie Ouma – Field Officer, Imani.