Throughout Africa, and in nearly all low-income regions around the world, community health workers (CHWs) augment the professional medical corps by offering critical medical and public health services. They provide community health education, basic clinical services, health surveillance, mother and child assistance and much more.
Early in 2020. WiRED International inaugurated our CHW Training Program to teach local people in Kisumu, Kenya, about health basics, patient assessment, clinical issues, health teaching and monitoring.
When WiRED International’s Community Health Workers (CHWs) in Kisumu, Kenya, graduated early in 2020 nobody could have foreseen that they would soon have to defend their communities from a global pandemic. WiRED’s CHWs continue to witness firsthand the effects of COVID-19 on their communities and the impact the pandemic is having not only on health but on businesses, jobs, schools and daily life. As fully trained vaccinators, thanks to WiRED’s Vaccinator Training Program (VTP), WiRED’s CHWs now stand ready to further support their communities by working with local doctors and nurses to distribute and administer vaccines as soon as they arrive.
WiRED’s Community Health Workers (CHWs) in Kisumu, Kenya, continue to educate and strengthen their communities.
In the month of June, 12 WiRED CHWs reached a total of 5,101 people. Although COVID-19 remains an urgent focus, the CHWs addressed issues in their communities as diverse as malaria, nutrition, diabetes and drug abuse. Educating their communities on important steps to stop the spread of COVID-19, such as handwashing and bolstering the immune system, can have a positive impact on reducing other illnesses. This is perfectly illustrated by one of WiRED’s CHWs, who shares this example:
WiRED International launched the train-the-trainer portion of our Vaccinator Training Program (VTP) on July 6 when lead medical trainers in Kisumu, Kenya, connected by Zoom with medical professionals in Naguru, Uganda. A participant in Liberia also joined the session. The purpose of the three-day workshop was to prepare medical professionals to use WiRED’s VTP curriculum to train local vaccinators on how to distribute and administer COVID-19 vaccines scheduled to arrive later this year.
Less than 1% of Africans have received a vaccination against COVID-19. As the virus, strengthened by the Delta variant, sweeps through Africa, WiRED International’s Community Health Workers (CHWs) are preparing communities to accept the idea of vaccinations even before COVAX delivers the vaccines. Moreover, WiRED-trained vaccinators stand ready to administer vaccinations as soon as those vaccines are delivered. And so, training of health workers and vaccinators prepares these communities in two important ways: by gaining their acceptance of COVID-19 vaccinations and training workers to be ready to administer them.
In Kisumu, Kenya, WiRED’s CHWs continue to battle COVID-19 and other dangerous infections within their communities. What follows are excerpts from their recent reports.
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.
WiRED International’s corps of trained community health workers (CHWs) continue to deliver vital healthcare services in Kisumu, Kenya, despite the COVID-19 pandemic.
During three weeks in March, 12 CHWs reached 4,533 people with basic clinical services, health education and health surveillance. The CHWs were not able to assist as many people as is usual in a month because all 12 workers also completed WiRED’s Vaccinator Training Program (VTP).
Denis Onyango and Steve Wonder are longtime staff members at the WiRED International medical and health education center located in the informal settlements or slums in Obunga, Kenya. What follows are their testimonials on the impact that WiRED-trained community health workers are having on their community.
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 […]
This December members of the WiRED International community contributed “lunch money” donations to the Sunshine-Mitzvah Fund in order to purchase groceries and Christmas treats for more than 200 families in Kisumu, Kenya, where our community health workers provide their medical and health services.
For years, WiRED has collected small amounts of money from Board members and friends for what we call the Sunshine-Mitzvah Fund (see sidebar). Sister Bernadette Nealon and her staff at several clinical centers in Kisumu, who use WiRED’s health education programs, have covered small necessities needed by the local population with these funds. These supplements include money for medications, food for hungry children and rides to a hospital for the sick who would otherwise have to walk.