MedTreks Kenya ~ Community Health Worker Program
Expanding the Community Health Workforce in Kenya:
Kenya is currently in a global health workforce crisis. In Kenya, there are only 2 doctors for every 10,000 people (World Health Organization). This crisis is more severe in rural regions where 75% of the Kenyan population resides. Our Village HopeCore Community Health Program in Kenya is located at 5,000 feet on the slopes of Mt. Kenya. Our services reach over 100,000 villagers and provide healthcare interventions to over 500 villages.
Our MedTreks Kenya program is helping Village HopeCore working to help build the workforce through designing and providing training programs for Community Health Workers.
Community Health Workers are instrumental in providing care to rural communities. Who are they are what are their roles?
Elizabeth Mukuru, HopeCore’s Community Health Volunteer conducting a home visit.
Photo Credit: Richard Ashton Photo
Who are Community Health Workers?
Community Health Workers are trained community members to provide health education and life-saving interventions to those who do not have easy access to healthcare facilities. Community Health Workers live and work in the communities they serve. They share ethnicity, cultural and life experiences with the community members that they serve. They understand the financial, physical and geographical challenges that their neighbors face, inhibiting appropriate medical care.
Community Health Volunteer conducting growth monitoring on an infant at a mobile field health clinic.
Key Roles of a Community Health Worker:
- Provide health promotion and disease prevention education to communities across the lifespan
- Conduct home visits to identify sick patients
- Arrange appropriate referrals, transportation and follow up for patients
- Gather important health data in their communities
- Model appropriate healthy lifestyle habits
- Provide essential life-saving interventions like CPR & oral rehydration therapy
- Help promote good nutrition, sanitation & hygiene
- …and the list goes on…
Learn more about CHV tasks HERE!
Community Health Worker inputting health data on her mobile phone App created and provided by HopeCore
How does HopeCore support Community Health Workers in Kenya?
Village HopeCore has 207 Community Health Volunteers across 21 Community Units. The Community Health Worker program at HopeCore supports community health workers
- Free health education training on essential healthcare for mothers and children. HopeCore invites CHVs to attend the HopeCore Maternal-Child Health clinics to learn how to conduct growth monitoring and conduct basic health education.
- Free business training for how to start and run a successful business for the Community Health Volunteers who are interested.
- A CHV’s business-in-a-bag: HopeCore provides all CHVs with a bag fully equipped with a T-shirt, First Aid Kit, Growth Monitoring charts and educational materials.
- Smartphones are provided to each CHV by HopeCore, with monitoring Health tools to support reporting of CHV’s health activities (the Smartphone data entry application is CommCare and all CHVs receive training on how to use the monitoring tool in the smartphone)
- Ongoing training through regular meetings with Village HopeCore International staff. This is done at least once per month as a group (CU) or on an individual basis in the field
- HopeCore supports in advocating for CHVs needs to the stakeholders e.g. County government and ministry of health
To learn more about HopeCore CHV program click HERE
Program to build Community Health Worker training programs:
Our MedTreks Kenya program works to design and builds culturally appropriate training materials for community healthcare workers. Our MedTreks teams travel to Kenya twice a year to provide ongoing clinical skills training and medical education through a Train-The-Trainer model. To learn about our program, click HERE
This January our MedTreks teams will return to Kenya to be part of the first 5-day level one certification for Community Health Volunteers. MedTreks has been working with HopeCore to design slideshows, videos, skills stations, training manuals, and exam materials to ensure that this training is thorough, accessible and effective.
You can stay involved with our teams by following us on Social Media! We will be posting daily updates during our MedTreks Kenya training.
If you would like to be part of our Global Health Education Team, please contact us at:
To support a Community Health Volunteer