Narok, Kenya, 12 March 2020 (F2A) – Faith based health facilities in Narok county yesterday added their voice to Kenya’s commitment to Universal Health Coverage by driving the MOH Strategy for provision of community-based health services through community based distribution of family planning methods.
According to a Kenya Ministry of Health report, about 70% of the Kenyan population lives in rural areas, where access to quality health services is a challenge. For example, contraceptive use in Kenya currently is 53% among married women of reproductive age in urban areas, compared to 43% in rural areas. Allowing community health workers to provide injectable contraception, which will help the rural areas in particular, will help address this disparity among the underserved population in Kenya.
35 Community health workers (CHWs) were trained during a three-week course that included classroom work on all family planning methods/counseling issues and practicing actual injections on tomatoes/oranges. A two-week clinical practicum and assessment followed, where the CHWs did actual Injectables under clinical supervisors at the county referral hospital and the faith health facilities.
The training was supported by the Delivering Equitab le and Sustainable access to family planning project (DESIP) which is a UK Aid funded project that aims to increase access to family planning services for the most marginalized in the community.
The training culminated in a colorful graduation ceremony which was held on 11 March at the Narok county referral hospital. Present at the event was Dr Salim Hussein, Head of the Kenya MOH’s Department of Primary Health Care, Dr Stephen Kaliti, Head of Reproductive and Maternal Health, Dr Francis Kio, County Director of Health as well as the Narok CHMT and DESIP consortium partners.
During the ceremony, Ministry of Health Head of Reproductive and Maternal Health Dr Stephen Kaliti congratulated the CBDs on the completion of the course terming it a big achievement as the government makes greater commitments to family planning through community based distribution that would reach last mile populations in Kenya.
One of the CBDs remarked that “It has not been an easy journey especially on how to provide injectables but the facilitators have walked with us and we feel confident that we will be able to do it now. We are now the health workers on the ground and we will need support from the health facilities and the county in doing our job.”