The Multi Stakeholder Partnership (MSP) held an engagement with community health volunteers(CHVs) stakeholders at Four Point Hotel Sheraton on 14th June 2018.The engagement aimed at strategizing on how the CHVs can be strengthened and recognized either through establishing an association or strengthening the existing one if there is already one, The meeting was well attended by different organizations including; Ministry of Health, Kenya Medical Training College, Living Goods, The Nairobi Hospital, Kenya Medical Women Association, Norvatis Social Business, IntraHealth International, Amref Health Africa, Malteser International and Kenya Healthcare Federation.
Ms. Caroline Cherotich representing Ministry of Health opened the meeting where she commended that the meeting was very key in strengthening the CHVs and MOH at a community health level.
Mr. Samuel Mwangi form Kenya Medical Training College (KMTC), elaborated on the status of the community health extension workers (CHEWs) curriculum development where he brought to light that CHEWs is an MOH initiative under the community health and development unit. He further said that CHEWs are medical professionals with diverse medical backgrounds related to medicine i.e. engineers, nutritionists, laboratory technicians, pharmacists e.t.c. As such and there is need to harmonize their knowledge so that they can deliver healthcare at a community level.
There were concerns raised on who accredits the CHEWs curriculum and KMTC clarified that a regulator but works with Community Health Services and Development Officers Association (CHESOA) as it the nearest to a regulatory body. It was also noted that MOH has a plan of coming up with a regulatory body for community health.
It was agreed that the CHEWs position needs to be well established. There is need clarify which roles and tasks are they responsible for and also what they are trained to do. It was noted that the CHEW was evaluated in 2010 and one recommendation was a phased training approach linked to it being a new cadre.
There was uniformed agreement that the CHEW curriculum will create harmonization of knowledge amongst different cadres and when freshmen are enrolled, the curriculum will be redesigned to fit this particular group of people and build their capacity to work as CHEWs.
Mr. Wycliffe Ogenya presented on behalf of CHESOA, where he elaborated that the association was started by community health professionals offering services in the community health strategy at a community level. Moreover, he reiterated that the national meeting in June 2017 led to the formation of the national office and as a result, the current membership is 1740 where 400 have paid the membership fees.
After carrying out a Strength Weaknesses Opportunities and Threats (SWOT) analysis, it was agreed that before establishing membership fees and budget, the value of CHESOA should be clear to its members. Multi stakeholder partnerships would be able to provide technical assistance and advice how structures of the association can be strengthened and how to increase external visibility.
As a way forward, KMTC should have another stakeholder workshop to share the curriculum that is ready to become an eLearning material. There should also be clarity on who CHESOA is representing.