The Government on Tuesday kickstarted implementation of their pledge of providing smartphones to Community Health Promoters (CHPs) in line with its commitment of delivering on the digital health agenda starting from the community level.
Health Cabinet Secretary Nakhumicha S. Wafula while touring Nyandarua County for inspection of J.M Kariuki Hospital presided over the distribution of mobile gadgets to CHPs to make them reachable and to enable them transmit and receive necessary information, instruction and advice.
According to the CS,the move is aimed at
saving Kenyans from the strain of travelling to a health facility for basic screening and the treatment of minor ailments, as well as preventative and promotive healthcare.
“Digitization of community health systems is important in monitoring progress towards the Universal Health Coverage whose plan has driven the exploration of various innovative approaches to expanding health services to the general population.As promised a few months ago to provide smartphones to all CHPs across the country,we remain committed to see the CHP program succeed, and I will endeavor to continuously interact with these champions in Kenya and to remain focused on their work in helping towards delivery of UHC which our dear President William Ruto launched in Kericho during October’s Mashujaa Day Celebrations” she said.
In September this year, the country embarked on the road towards the UHC when President Ruto flagged off 100, 000 Community Health Promoters (CHPs) at Uhuru Park gardens in Nairobi.
Each CHP will be responsible for 100 households and will be equipped with modern medical equipment and deployed in communities across the country.
The Head of State acknowledged the importance of CHPs for the link they provide between the community and formal health facilities, a crucial driver in advancing preventive health thus working towards execution of UHC which remained a piped dream during the previous regimes.
“The mobile system is a simple and user-friendly health device.Its application will be used to collect real-time accurate household data.My administration has already allocated Kenya shillings 3 billion annually for payment of monthly stipends of our CHPs.And it is my belief that counties will match up this fund so that we can enable these great heroes of our time to help us on the delivery of Community Health at the household level,” noted the President during last month’s Mashujaa Day Celebrations in Kericho County.
A total of 100,000 CHPs countrywide have been equipped with kits which will play a vital role in the government’s preventive and promotive health approach that seeks to arrest diseases at community level before they occur.
A complete health promoter’s kit includes a backpack carrier bag, first aid box, jacket, weighing scale, infrared clinical thermometer and two mid-upper arm circumference (MUAC) measuring tapes for paediatric and adult use.
The empowerment of CHPs is geared towards comprehensive reform agenda under the Kenya Kwanza Bottom-Up Economic Transformation Agenda (BETA), which aims to enhance the health sector.
According to experts,UHC failed in the past because of lack of proper legislation,limited or no national-county government partnership good will,resource constraints, corruption and mismanagement, infrastructure and human resource gaps, geographic disparities and fragmentation of health services.