WiRED’s Community Health Workers Report from Kenya
Providing Critical Healthcare Services amid COVID-19
By Allison Kozicharow; Edited by Jessie Crowdy
WiRED International’s corps of trained community health workers (CHWs) continue to deliver vital healthcare services in Kisumu, Kenya, despite the COVID-19 pandemic. Recently, the Ministry of Health declared Kisumu to be the new hot spot for the virus, according to a recent news report.
During the month of May, 12 CHWs reached 5,341 people with basic clinical services, health education and health surveillance.
The main health-related issues the CHWs addressed included the following:
- COVID-19 (#1 health concern)
- First aid
- Child growth and development
- Teenage pregnancy
All 12 CHWs also completed WiRED’s Vaccinator Training Program (VTP) (see sidebar) and are ready to administer COVID-19 injections once vaccines are available. Note that CHW training is ongoing because WiRED requires them to continuously take classes designed to refresh their knowledge and to learn new skills. Such training, called Continuing Medical Education, is required by most governments for doctors and nurses to maintain their credentials.
Expanding WiRED’s very active training programs is critical in these times of COVID-19 and overtaxed healthcare systems.
WiRED Announces Inaugural Class of VTP Graduates in Kisumu
Twelve CHWs and 6 other local people received certificates to qualify as WiRED vaccinators after passing the final exam with a score of 80% or higher. WiRED’s VTP — based on WHO’s COVID-19 vaccination guidelines — trains people at the local level to administer COVID-19 shots in their own communities.
CHWs are already rigorously trained to heal the sick, deliver children and address chronic illnesses in areas like Kisumu where doctors and nurses are scarce. Now that CHWs are newly graduated from the VTP, they are equipped to:
- Move vaccines safely from central drop-off points to communities
- Prepare the communities for vaccinations
- Properly screen patients
- Administer vaccinations and monitor patients after the shots
With COVID-19 case numbers rising in Kisumu, trained WiRED vaccinators stand at the ready as a life-saving health worker force once vaccines are available.