Kenya mulls recruitment of community health workers to ease disease burden

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Kenya will recruit and train additional community health workers to reduce burdens of infectious and non-communicable diseases, an official said on Tuesday.

Daniel Kavoo, acting head of community health unit in the ministry of health, said that increasing the number of grassroots health workers will strengthen prevention, treatment and management of fatal ailments.

“There are guidelines in place to facilitate recruitment of community health volunteers whose mandate is to complement efforts by national and county governments to fight diseases hampering the country’s development,” said Kavoo.

He spoke in Nairobi during the inaugural national reproductive, maternal, newborn, child health and nutrition summit organized by lobby groups to discuss strategic partnerships required to boost health outcomes in the country.

Senior policymakers and campaigners who attended the forum said that community health workers could help bridge gaps in advocacy required to halt spread of communicable diseases.

Campaigners said that community based healthcare providers should be empowered to boost Kenya’s quest to achieve health related sustainable development goals.

“Community and household led health interventions should be given priority to help actualize the universal health coverage agenda in the country,” said Meshack Ndirangu, director of Amref Health Africa in Kenya.

Alice Yugi, nutrition and child health expert at World Vision Kenya said that community health workers are key to boost health outcomes among vulnerable demographics like women, children and the elderly.

“Community health workers are pillars of the healthcare system in this country and are key to improve the nutrition, maternal and child health indicators,” said Yugi.

She noted that community health workers have boosted immunization coverage in the country through robust awareness targeting young mothers. Enditem

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