Update on WiRED Community Health Workers in Kenya CHWs Continue to Grow in Knowledge and Experience Despite a Challenging Year By: Jessie Crowdy; Edited by Allison Kozicharow WiRED International brought our Community Health Worker (CHW) Training Program to Kisumu, Kenya, in 2020. Since then, CHWs have been actively tending to the health of the populations […]
Scientists all over the world reacted quickly to the COVID-19 pandemic and created a number of vaccines to curb this modern day plague. Unfortunately, because of the unprecedented nature of its scope and challenges, the distribution of the vaccine has proved slow and disorganized. What’s more, many people are confused by unclear information and worry about vaccine safety or even if they should get the shot at all.
At the start of each year since 1999, we have released the plans that guide WiRED International’s efforts for the next 12 months. Last year our objective was to launch a major new community health worker (CHW) training program. After COVID-19 struck, we had to make a number of mid-course corrections to stay on track. By the end of 2020, though, we met our goals to test the CHW training program in four countries. That success was due to the flexibility of a small and nimble organization, good working relationships with partners abroad and, admittedly, a bit of luck.
Meet WiRED International’s Continuing Medical Education (CME) Tracking Application!
Each year, after completing their training, all community health workers (CHWs) are required by WiRED to earn 50 continuing education units to maintain their year-to-year certification. Continuing health education is also a World Health Organization requirement for all CHWs. This program (we call CHWE—continuing health worker education) enables CHWs to reinforce their knowledge and learn new skills. They stay current on scientific findings and the latest diagnostics and treatments for health conditions that may impact their communities.
WiRED International announces the launch of our Community Health Worker (CHW) Training Program in Nicaragua. The effort, part of a five-country research program, follows the successful CHW project already tested in communities in Kenya and India; training is near completion in Peru, and will begin in Armenia in early 2021.
WiRED International’s community health workers (CHWs) in Kisumu, Kenya, continue to be a beacon for their communities, providing guidance, information and support for health issues. Their work is particularly important in these pandemic times, as they provide health surveillance for other illnesses such as pneumonia and cholera which could be overlooked without their monitoring. From September 1 to September 27, 14 CHWs reached 6,679 people with health services on topics such as malnutrition, hypertension, pneumonia and HIV/AIDS.
WiRED International is pleased to announce the release of a documentary, “Community Health Begins with Knowledge.”
The film, shot on location in Kisumu, Kenya, introduces WiRED’s Community Health Worker (CHW) Training Program and demonstrates how the workers provide a critical link between underserved communities and the outside healthcare system. The story of the CHW program unfolds through interviews with the workers and footage of these trained paraprofessionals interacting with people of their communities.
WiRED International’s Community Health Workers (CHWs) in Kisumu, Kenya, continue to play an essential role in community education, providing advice on health issues as well as necessary referrals. In the final week of August, 14 CHWs reached 1,686 people, covering topics such as unsafe drinking water, COVID-19 and teenage pregnancy.
Increasingly, ministries of health, nongovernmental organizations and hospitals are turning to community health workers (CHWs) to fill the gap created by the scarcity of medical professionals in under-resourced areas of the globe.
The Journal of Southern California Clinicians published an article in its recent issue entitled “Introduction and Follow Up of Ongoing WiRED International Program.” The paper was co-written by WiRED Executive Director Gary Selnow, Ph.D., and WiRED Board members Maryam Othman, M.D., M.P.H., and William Crano, Ph.D., and it describes the then-impending launch of WiRED’s Community Health Worker Training Program.
Graduates of WiRED International’s Community Health Worker (CHW) Training Program in Kisumu, Kenya, continue to play an essential role in improving the lives of those in surrounding communities. Since mid-July, 13 CHWs reached 3,360 people and covered health issues as diverse as nutrition and handwashing while also dispelling notions of how COVID-19 is spread.