IntraHealth International

Our commitment: IntraHealth is a global champion for health workers. We have pledged to double our impact between 2011 and 2015 to ensure that more health workers are present, ready, connected, and safe. Mission: IntraHealth empowers health workers to better serve communities in need around the world. We foster local solutions to health care challenges by improving health worker performance, strengthening health systems, harnessing technology, and leveraging partnerships. ...
Jul 29, 2014

In Service Training for Practicing Nurses

In addition to helping those wishing to pursue an education in health, The Afya Elimu Fund also helps those who wish to further their training; nurses like Phyllis.

Phyllis has worked at the Tenwek Hospital’s Continuing Care Clinic (CCC) for most of her nursing career, but she was not always trained in the more specialized area of adult antiretroviral therapy, or the ability to administer HIV medications, and this made her job more difficult. Before the training, there were times Phyllis struggled to help patients understand the more technically complex issues associated with HIV, which frustrated her greatly. One such issue was when a patient was not responding well to treatment. “I have had an experience where a patient comes and tells you ‘I have done everything you told me but my situation is not improving.’ It made me sad.”

HIV/AIDS is one of the greatest health challenges Kenyans face. According to UNAIDS, over 1,600,000 (approximately 6% of the population) Kenyans are living with HIV, most of whom are highly dependent on antiretroviral therapy. By increasing the number of health workers trained in antiretroviral treatment, the number of those receiving medication will greatly increase.

Since receiving additional in-service training, Phyllis now has a different experience as she attends to the numerous clients who visit her clinic every day. “The knowledge I gained has really helped me serve the clients better. I now have a lot of confidence as I serve my clients because I have the knowledge that I need.”

Phyllis says one of the most helpful things she learned at the training is how to monitor patients’ progress and quickly identify the causes of health concerns.

“I am now able to detect any failures in the patient and diagnose the cause. This is something I could not do before. It has made my clients happy.”

Thank you to our donors who support the Afya Elimu Fund and provide both new and continued training to healthworkers in Kenya.  Together, we can create a healthier world.

May 6, 2014

Learning New Skills in Nursing

At ALKAN Health Science College nursing students study a curriculum built around the key competencies needed to become effective nurses in their communities, just like students attending nurse training programs in the United States. We asked our students at ALKAN Health Science College about the skills they are learning this year, and which key competency areas they find most interesting. Here’s what they had to say.

Almaz talked about the competency area of implementing basic nursing care—the backbone of all nursing. She is studying how to manage patient safety and comfort and how to help immobile clients with feeding and grooming. She has been mastering these skills by attending class, practicing in the skills laboratory, and collaborating with other health team members. Almaz says it’s important to learn “the knowledge and skills required to contribute to the nursing care of clients in a range of health environments.”

Fatuma highlighted learning about how to administer a wide range of medications. This semester, she is studying pharmacology and how different drugs treat and affect systems in the body. For example, while learning about medications that affect the nervous system, Fatuma studied the drug compounds and effects and then learned how to administer dosage accurately in the skills laboratory.

Hawa was most interested in basic wound care and developing a nursing care plan for her clients. She enjoys practicing in the skills laboratory, particularly skills related to preventing infections.

Tsehay, Eyerus, and Haymanot all pointed to learning how to provide maternal and newborn health care. “For me, there is nothing that gave satisfaction more than providing care and support to the mothers and babies,” reflects Eyerus. “I want to be part of the community that is fighting to reduce the deaths of mothers and babies.” The students have been studying the female reproductive system and fetal development in class. In the skills lab, they practice antenatal care, delivery and postnatal care for both mothers and babies.

To the nursing students at ALKAN, thank you for sharing your interests with us! We enjoy hearing stories coming from Ethiopia about your journey to become nurses. To our donors, we thank you for your continued support and your commitment to championing frontline health workers through this project. We look forward to sharing more stories about our students soon.

Apr 11, 2014

Meet Hawa

The need for more healthcare workers is worldwide but often times students face costly challenges in order to pursue their dreams. Meet Hawa, a nursing student in Kenya, who’s pursuit of her career as a health worker is a story many Kenyan students share.

Meet Hawa

Hawa Y. was born 24 years ago to a family of six in the arid plains of the Garba Tulla District in eastern Kenya. Like many Kenyan women in remote provinces, Hawa’s mother was uneducated and illiterate. Seeing the struggles her mother faced only motivated Hawa to work harder in school and further her education. But motivation is often not enough to overcome some of the many hurdles students in Kenya face. Once Hawa completed her primary education in 2002, she was unable to move on to high school due to lack of funding for school fees. Though this delayed her progress, Hawa persevered and was able to procure funding from a ministry group to attend high school.

In 2005, Hawa’s father suffered from an infection in his lungs. After several months in a public hospital, his condition worsened and he was transferred to a public referral hospital. It was then that her calling to be a health worker began. She witnessed the efforts, the care and concern of the health workers attending to him, and later was encouraged by her father to study medicine, particularly nursing, because, in his words, “nurses are always within a patient’s reach”.

Hawa refocused her efforts, and worked hard to graduate high school with high marks. She was admitted to a public university; however, once again, she was unable to enroll because of a lack of funding. Undeterred, Hawa accepted a job as a cleaner at a pharmacy, which only encourage her dream to practice medicine. “I would listen to him prescribing medication to patients with envy. I wished I was a health worker like him. I prayed to be one someday,” Hawa recalls. In 2011, Hawa was admitted to the Kenya Medical Training College, Machakos. Her mother and several members of the community raised money so that Hawa could attend school. It has been a long, difficult journey to Machakos Medical Training College, but she is now in her second year studying to be a nurse.

Hawa’s struggle to find funding for her academic pursuits is a common one for youth in Kenya. Some of the largest expenses students pursuing a career in health care face are often tuition and living expenses. Sometimes, if they raise the money for tuition like Hawa’s community did for her, the students are then unable to pay rent to live close to school or afford the transportation to get there. Or, that funding runs out, and the student is forced to leave school. The Afya Elimu Fund aims to alleviate this problem by providing loans to students like Hawa, who pursue an education in health care.

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