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May 14, 2020

HOPECORE'S RESPONSE TO COVID 19

A CHV training a family member COVID 19
A CHV training a family member COVID 19

HOPECORE IN COMBATTING COVID-19.

Amid the confirmation of COVID 19 In Kenya, the Government put in place response measures to prevent the spread of the Virus in the County. These measures included: suspending of learning in all learning institutions, request to employers to allow employees to work from home and reducing social gatherings. This made HopeCore to scale-down its programs to comply with the government directives and to ensure the safety of our staff and the communities that we serve. We embarked putting in place measures that would help create awareness on COVID-19 among the rural population in Tharaka Nithi County and helping the Government in combatting the pandemic.

COVID 19 Toolkit

Having a reliable and correct source of information is key to preventing panic and misinformation in a pandemic situation. Village HopeCore developed a comprehensive COVID-19 education toolkit that has COVID-19 information and updates from the World Health Organization (WHO) and Kenya Ministry of Health (MOH). This is a resource hub that provides correct information for clinicians and training resources for Community Health Workers/Volunteers.  HopeCore’s toolkit is among Segal Family Foundation’s COVID-19 resources shared globally.

 

Distribution of handwashing facilities

 In efforts to promote sanitation in the Community, Village HopeCore’s first response to COVID 19 was the distribution of handwashing tanks and soap to high traffic places. We have installed 11 handwashing stations to markets, police and bus stations, 28 handwashing tanks have been distributed to all the health facilities in Mwimbi and Muthambi sub-counties as requested by the Department of Health Services and Sanitation. Additionally, we trained 13 town council officials on COVID 19 and handwashing techniques, these officers partner with Community Health Volunteers to ensure that water and soap are available at the handwashing the station as well as educating members of the community on the importance of handwashing in the fight against COVID-19.

Training of Community Health Volunteers (CHVs) on COVID-19

Community Health Volunteers supplement the formal health systems in their communities, through door-door health education, that enhances disease prevention and cultivates health-seeking behaviour among community members. Village HopeCore developed a COVID -19 training Curriculum for Community Health Volunteers that was approved by the Tharaka Nithi County Department of Health Services and Sanitation to be used for CHVs COVID 19 training by all health partners.

As from March 2020 up-to-date, Village HopeCore has trained 698 CHVs across Tharaka Nithi County. The trained CHVs are COVID-19 community educators, in less than a month, the CHVs have conducted over 15,520 household visits in their respective Community Units (CUs) where they have educated over 81,120 individuals on COVID 19 and Handwashing. Through the CHVs intervention, there has been a total reduction in panic and misinformation on COVID 19. The communities have embraced social distancing, handwashing and use of facemasks to prevent the spread of the Corona Virus.

 

REOPENING OF HOPECORE CLINIC:

With all these interventions, there is still a gap in the provision of maternal and reproductive health services yet they are very essential in promoting women and children health. Based on the Global Citizen survey of April 2020 in Meru, immunization clinics are down by two-thirds while hospital delivery is down by over 50%. Through our CHVs network, we have learnt that routine nutritional assessment clinics where children are supplemented with Vitamin A and dewormed are not being done. Additionally, medical outpatient clinics that manage chronic conditions such as hypertension, diabetes and sickle cell disease in most government facilities were closed.

In the dispensaries, these patients are being referred to higher-level facilities which are far. This poses the risk of increased complications and fatalities. The main reason that has been cited by health care workers (HCWs) are lack of personal protective equipment (PPEs). The unprotected HCWs are therefore afraid of contracting COVID-19 from their patients or transmitting the disease to them in case they are already infected.

Village HopeCore would wish to address these challenges by creating access to health services through our Community Clinic in Chogoria. This would allow women and children to access free quality services i.e. treatment and laboratory services. We plan to reopen the clinic in mid-May 2020

However, before we reopen the clinic, we need to ensure the safety of our clients and that of HopeCore’s clinical staff. We have developed a strategy that defines and guides on how each patient shall be handled from triaging point outside the building where they shall be screened for COVID -19 symptoms i.e. fever, cough and shortness of breath. The patients shall then be coded before accessing further clinical services.  

There is a need for Personal Protective Equipment for the 12 clinical staff to enable them to attend to the clients safely at HopeCore’s Community Clinic. These items range from masks, face shield, gloves, infrared thermometers and hand sanitizers. The total cost for purchasing these items is $1600 and they shall be used in the clinic for 3 months as we continue assessing the situation concerning the pandemic.

Now more than never, our community needs us and we need your support as a partner to enable us to provide essential health services safely to our community.

HopeCore staff distributing soap to a market
HopeCore staff distributing soap to a market
Mar 2, 2020

Comprehensive Primary Health Care

Growth Monitoring in Mobile MCH clinic
Growth Monitoring in Mobile MCH clinic

Mobile Maternal Child Health Clinics

We continued conducting Mobile MCH clinics in over 516 villages. In January, we had 15 MCH clinics where 341 mothers were educated on Nutrition, malaria prevention, family planning, hypertension, breastfeeding, tuberculosis, hygiene and sanitation, diabetes, water safety.

  • 200 children were growth monitored
  • 56 children received Vitamin A supplementation
  • 70 children under 5 years were dewormed
  • 3 children were referred to our Community Clinic for the nutritional management
  • 195 children were treated.
  • 285 mothers got free treatment.

Community Health Volunteers training and Certification.

We all aspire to receive and access quality, reliable and affordable healthcare services. The Kenyan Ministry of Health is geared to achieving quality healthcare for all through the integration of Primary Healthcare(PHC) approach and the Universal Health Coverage(UHC). To achieve both PHC and UHC, there should consistent health education and awareness at Community Level (families/households). Village HopeCore works with a team of 206 community Health Volunteers from Mwimbi and Muthambi sub-counties.  The CHVs are crucial in our mission of building healthy communities through their health promotion activities such as door-to-door health education, tracing of immunization and TB defaulters, nutritional assessments and referrals.

To enable them to perform these functions more efficiently they require sufficient skills and therefore there was the need for them to be trained.  In January, we conducted a 5 days CHVs module 1 training on:

  • Day 1: Community Health strategy, Community Leadership, Problem-solving, communication, counselling, advocacy, and social mobilization.
  • Day 2: Community Dialogue, Family planning, Healthy lifestyle, newborn and childcare and Water Sanitation and Hygiene (WaSH).
  • Day 3: Maternal Health, prevention of injuries (including falls, poisoning, burns, choking and drowning), common conditions {cough, nosebleeds, eye conditions, ear conditions, skin conditions (scabies, tinea, jigger’s infestations) and diarrhoea, common injuries (wounds, burns, fractures, bites & stings) and disease surveillance.
  • Day 4: Specific disease prevention (Malaria, TB, STI), Sexual and Gender-Based Violence (SGBV), danger signs in children, lifesaving skills (theory)
  • Day 5: Management and use of community health information.

This training aimed at equipping the CHVs with relevant knowledge and skills so that they would disseminate correct health information and practices to mothers within their community units.

CHVs summary Data:

  • The CHVs did 4477 home visits, conduct growth monitoring to1027 children under 5years of which 5had MUAC indicating red hence requiring to follow up
  • Counselled 121 pregnant women on the Individual Birth Plan, advised them on the importance of skilled delivery and referred them for ANC Clinics
  • Visited 56new-borns and offered education on the importance of exclusive breastfeeding to the mothers.
  • 90.3% of the children in the households visited by CHVs in January were sleeping under mosquito nets. Only 2% of households reported having a case of clinically diagnosed malaria in the last days.

 

 HEALTH FAIR WITH MEDTREKS INTERNATIONAL VOLUNTEERS

Over the past three years, HopeCore’s partnership with MedTreks Kenya and MedTreks International has grown significantly. Since 2018, MedTreks has been sending cohorts of experienced medical practitioners to volunteer cohesively with Village HopeCore for periods not less than one week twice per year. The MedTreks team visited HopeCore in January where the held training sessions and joined our teams to the field. We held on health fair/outreach event with the MedTreks team where we: 

We conducted targeted health education sessions:

  • 145 adults were educated on Diabetes, nutrition and Hypertension
  • 38 MCH mothers were educated on nutrition and breastfeeding
  • 60 Youths were educated on hygiene and SRH.

We also did growth monitoring to 27 Children under 5 years, this aims at assessing the child’s growth concerning their height, weight and head circumference.

  • 26 laboratory tests were done to children under 5 years
  • 42 children received free treatment services.
  • 130 mothers and 40 fathers were treated.

The common conditions seen and treated in children under five years were: respiratory tract infections, fevers of unknown origin, diarrhoea and other skin conditions. In adults, we had Hypertension, Joint pains/arthritis, respiratory tract infection, urinary tract infection, skin conditions and eye conditions

CHVs being trained on how to manage Choking
CHVs being trained on how to manage Choking
HopeCore's CH-nurses and MedTreks volunteers
HopeCore's CH-nurses and MedTreks volunteers

Links:

Feb 25, 2020

MedTreks Kenya 2020

MedTreks Team with the 200 Community Health Vol
MedTreks Team with the 200 Community Health Vol

MedTreks Kenya 2020! 

 

Our MedTreks Kenya program started off with a bang this year in January 2020! 

The team arrived in Kenya the first week of January and hit the ground running. One of the highlights of the trip was that the MedTreks team helped to train hands-on skills for the 200 Community Health Volunteers who were participating in HopeCore's 5 Day Level 1 certification training. The MedTreks team arrived the week of the training and provided hands-on skills-stations to the Community Health Volunteers on topics such as Wound Care, First Aid, CPR, Choking and assessment of the sick child. 

 

The HopeCore nurses received selective training on leadership, change management and were trained in skills with IUD insertion and Cervical Cancer screening. 

 

We are excited about how much this program is growing! We are looking forward to continuing to build out the training and capacity building program through a dedicated skills lab at HopeCore over the next year. 

 

Thank you again for your support in helping to build capacity in Kenya! 

 

Warmly,

Ari & the MedTreks Team 

 
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