By John Kariuki
Madam Gladys Chania has hailed the newly elected Governor of Kiambu county HE Kimani Wamatangi on taking up and owning the Community health volunteers as part of his health management teams at local levels.
Chania who is well known as a champion of health and community issues in Kiambu county said the Governor sharing interest on allowance stipends to the volunteers is a good motivation.
Chania said that Community Health Volunteers are lay members of the community who work either for pay or as volunteers in association with the local health care system in both urban and rural environments.
CHVs as popularly known usually share ethnicity, language, socioeconomic status, and life experiences with the community members they serve, (CHVs typically serve where they live). They are frontline agents of change, helping to reduce health disparities in underserved communities.
This makes it easier for them to understand the needs of the community as front liners and speak on their behalf and mediate for them too.
They receive trainings on health problems they engage with.
This people if we’ll utilized they have potential to supplement the formal health system in the struggle to achieve UHC in low and middle income areas.
In some cases they are able to provide Preventive,promotive and curative health services well just as formal health workers and at times better!
Echoing the Governor of Kiambu HE Wamatangi ,she said the CHVs need in-service training, financial incentives, infrastructural support,supplies, appropriate monitoring, regular supportive supervision and evaluation.
Integration of CHV programmes into the formal healthcare system is also an agent of success.
Let’s define their role as a county,avoid too many vertical programmes which normally are a hindrance to success of volunteer-led health programmes.
Chania also noted that this success requires careful implementation, strong policy backing and continual support by their managers.