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Monthly Update from WiRED International’s Community Health Workers in Kenya

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By Allison Kozicharow; Edited by Elizabeth Fine

WiRED International’s community health workers (CHWs) in Kisumu, Kenya, completed another year of providing their area residents with vital healthcare services and referrals.

During the month of December 2023, 21 CHWs in Kisumu, Kenya, reached a total of 10,350 people with health services. Working 24 hours per week, each of the CHWs met with at least 56 patients a week, and the largest number seen in a week by a single CHW was 200, most of them in health training classes.

These numbers are especially impressive because CHW health services normally decrease during the holiday season. This month’s reach of 10,350 even tops last month’s total of 9,417!

In December the top health-related issues were, as follows, in order of prevalence:

  • Menstrual health
  • Tuberculosis
  • Cholera
  • Sexually transmitted infections
  • Hygiene
  • Hypertension

As noted above, menstrual health was the top issue that CHWs reported this month in their communities. CHW Bunnyce Atieno, said “I always tell men in the community that menstruation is not a woman issue but a human issue, and we should all support our girls during this time of the month.”

Understanding her menstrual cycle is an important part of a woman’s overall health. In underserved countries especially, educating young girls and women about menstruation and how it can be safely and comfortably managed supports women’s improved health and positive participation in society.

Stay tuned for an upcoming story on a project conducted in Kisumu on menstruation, which teaches young women about how to care for their menstrual health.