Earlier this week, H.E. President William Ruto inaugurated the distribution of more than 20,000 oxygen products to grassroots health facilities nationwide to strengthen health systems. The Oxygen Project under the Covid-19 Response Mechanism funded by The Global Fund and supported by Amref aims to enhance the ecosystem of oxygen in health facilities to alleviate mortalities and morbidities caused by lack of access to medical oxygen.
Speaking during the flag-off, the President recognized the Community Health Units under Primary Health Care (PHC) as the foundation of the country’s ambitious mission to achieve its Universal Health Coverage (UHC) plan. He acknowledged the critical role that Community Health Volunteers play in the delivery of health which is a devolved function of government.
He noted that the national and county governments will work collaboratively to support Community Health Workers, now to be identified as Community Health Promoters. The two levels of government will co-sponsor standardization and remuneration of Community Health Promoters.
“We have agreed with the counties that we are going to standardise the remuneration of these Community Health Promoters and we also need to standardise the kits that will be made available for them to use in the service that they will be undertaking in every village,” Ruto said.
The Head of State committed that the national government will provide kits for all 90,000 CHWs country-wide to aid their health promotion work at the grassroots level of communities and is preparing for delivery of the kits. Community Health Volunteers assist in the provision of healthcare services at the household level. Through household visits, they deliver health promotion messages, treat common ailments and illnesses and establish protocols for Community-Based Maternal and Newborn Health. The medical kits enable them to conduct their work with ease thus ensuring communities receive the necessary healthcare.
The president lauded development partners for their contribution to Kenya’s public health system, noting how their close and strong partnerships have enabled the country to defeat diseases like Malaria, TB and HIV/AIDS.
The CHU4UHC platform has been instrumental in advocating for the enumeration, remuneration, professionalization and equipping of CHPs in Kenya. In October last year, Johnson & Johnson through Amref and ENAI Africa procured 1000 CHP kits in Kajiado County to help them in their day-to-day work. Providing CHPs with the necessary equipment and commodities supports their routine household visits and enables them to reach even the most remote communities.
We laud the government for the bold steps taken to ensure that CHPs do their part in preventive, promotive, screening, early diagnosis and referral for complicated cases.