“To make health for all a reality, we need to commit first to fully operationalize Community Health Services as a platform for Primary Health Care and Universal Health Coverage (UHC) by ensuring that Community Health Units operate effectively with adequate human and financial resources,” pointed out the Head of State during Amref International University’s (AMIU) groundbreaking ceremony on 9th July 2022 in Ruiru, Kiambu County.
President Uhuru Kenyatta officiated the ceremony to mark the construction of a state-of-the-art university that will primarily focus on health sciences training to bridge the gap in Human Resources for Health. The president commended the move by Amref International University to train health workers of all cadres including Community Health Workers (CHWs) and Community Health Volunteers (CHVs) who are the primary agents of health delivery.
Strong, people-centered primary health care health systems form the basis for the attainment of Universal Health Coverage. Good health systems are rooted in the communities they serve and not only focus on health promotion but also preventative care. Key elements of the government’s strategy in achieving Universal Health Coverage include building resilient and responsive Primary Health Systems and investing in preventative and promotive Community Health Care as stipulated in the Big 4 Agenda.
The President underscored the need to establish a progressive framework for improved industrial relations between national and county governments and health worker unions for improved welfare in order to have better productivity from healthcare workers.
Similarly, he noted the need to mainstream Community Health Workers into the country’s health systems by integrating them into the National HRH strategic framework including the execution of related strategies. This when done within a legal framework will provide for the recognition, training and compensation of the country’s Community Health Workers together with a clear career path.
“Lastly, it is our obligation as a government to increase sustainable and equitable domestic financing for Community Health as part of our Primary Health Care including mainstreaming pandemic preparedness and response investments with robust contributions to the Health Systems including Primary Health Care and Community Health, “the Head of State concluded.
These remarks were in line with what the CHU4UHC platform is looking to achieve. Co-created through collaboration of the Government of Kenya and the Johnson and Johnson Foundation, this platform aims to integrate Community Health Workers formally into the Health System and build sustainable Community Health Systems. The platform also focuses on developing policies for training and formalizing CHWs, coordinating funding sources, and implementing real-time digital reporting systems to track data for impact.