CHV's Full Recognition, A Huge Score To Healthcare
The County Health Management Team has welcomed H.E. Governor Joshua Irungu's commitment to invest in community healthcare.
During his inauguration, the Governor announced a policy shift on how Community Health Volunteers(CHVs) shall be engaged. In a bold move, he announced that CHVs shall, going forward, be recruited on a full-time basis.
County Deputy Director of Nursing Services, Mr. Francis Ruga, believes that the governor's announcement opens up a whole lot of new possibilities in health management.
Community is the way to gosays Mr. Ruga
and countries like Cuba have shown that it is possible. At the beginning of the program in 2018, we discovered the low-hanging fruits that come with investing in community health, and such plans are much appreciated.
Mr. Ruga continues:
We have data to demonstrate immediate and vast drops in communicable and hygiene-related ailments like diarrhea and amoebiasis(intestinal worms).
In some wards, data shows a huge drop in hygiene-related cases. So the policy shift is an encouraging move from the current engagement where CHVs are engaged on part-time and volunteering terms, an arrangement that at times, demoralizes their selfless efforts.
Laikipia County is ranked highest in NHIF uptake countrywide, a remarkable outlook attributed to CHV's efforts in 2018 through 2019. It is a documented fact of their role in tracking expectant women and following up on those who defaulted in immunization, antenatal and postnatal clinics.
These efforts greatly contributed to reduced complications and deaths during childbirth. Follow-up efforts for reproductive health education, family planning, and nutritional well-being also increased from 32% to 60% on average.
Immensely, their input has been registered in overall community hygiene. Like in establishing simple hand-washing facilities, and ensuring households had pit latrines and waste pits.
Health and nation-building are inextricably linked.the deputy director says,
and the surest way to ensure healthier people is to invest in primary healthcare systems as a cost-effective way of addressing disease burdens that inevitably arise. In this conversation, CHV's contribution cannot be overlooked.
Mr. Ruga appreciates creating a proper framework for CHV's formal engagement will take time. That it's a complex consultative policy-shift conversation that will involve all stakeholders in the executive, health, elected leaders, and Public Service Board, but Governor's intentions, he says,
is profoundly noble and worthwhile.