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Apr 22, 2019

It takes a special Heart to be a CHW.

CHWs constructing pit latrine for a poor family.
CHWs constructing pit latrine for a poor family.

Community Health Workers play a vital role in ensuring that Sustainable Development Goals (SDG 3,6) are attained through health education and linking the communities in Mwimbi and Muthambi Sub-counties to the available health facilities. In three months, the 97 Community Health Workers have conducted 8,154 door-to-door health education sessions in their respective villages. This has been achieved through the integration of technology in health education and data collection by use of CommCare, a mobile data collecting application. They also ensure that every household has a hand washing station with soap outside the latrines.

During the door to door health education, the Community Health Workers came across families that live in absolute poverty, where some families could not even afford single mean per day for themselves, they entirely depend on well-wishers to offer the food and any other support. In February and early March, the CHWs identified 10 families that where highly affected by poverty associated with the prevailing drought in Kenya. Most of the affected individuals are elderlies who cannot fend for themselves and worse they have been neglected by their families, they depend on seasonal farming for food. A team of 8 CHWs organized for a clean-up activity to these homes that included washing, sweeping the compound removing of jiggers and hair cutting. They also manage to build makeshift pit latrines for the families to prevent open defecation that leads to a cholera outbreak. The team also supported the families by making in-kind donations of clothes and food to the affected families. The families that got this service lacked words to explain their appreciation to the Community Health Volunteers. #Nobody is poor to give

These encounters are clear proving and justification that people are the solution to people’s problems. With the availability of funds, we would recruit 105 more Community Health Workers to strength health awareness and services in Mwimbi and Muthambi Sub-Counties

A latrine constructed by CHWs
A latrine constructed by CHWs
CHWs donating food and soap to a family
CHWs donating food and soap to a family
CHWs rethatched the house for the family
CHWs rethatched the house for the family
Mar 13, 2019

Strengthening MCH through partnership

Mothers with their babies gathered for MCH clinic
Mothers with their babies gathered for MCH clinic

 

Partnership with the County Government

In December 2018, Village HopeCore International reached out Tharaka Nithi County with a proposal to use the Beyond Zero truck to conduct mobile clinics in most remote areas. The Beyond Zero campaign was launched in January 2014 by Her Excellency Margaret Kenyatta the First Lady of the Republic of Kenya, Beyond Zero was inspired by the realization and knowledge that maternal and childhood deaths are preventable. This approach was devolved to all the 47 Counties in Kenya where each county was allocated one truck. In Tharaka Nithi, the truck was not being used frequently by the Ministry of Health due to lack of funds for fuel and maintenance. Because of the existing strong ties and partnership between HopeCore and the County, the Ministry of Health approved this request. The purpose of the request was to enable HopeCore to expand the services. HopeCore already provides comprehensive services to women and children under 5 years in most remote areas of Maara that lack or have limited/unreliable health facilities. The truck is fully equipped with solar power, two patient rooms, a laboratory, and a pharmacy. In February 2019, the County agreed to lend the truck to HopeCore at least twice per month, at a minimum, and we can use it more often based on its availability.

By utilizing this truck, we have been able to provide immunization services to children and laboratory tests. Additionally, the truck provides privacy that enables our clinical staff to conduct an ANC profile and physical examination of expectant mothers. Most of the expectant mothers from remote areas default ANC clinics because of the cost incurred in accessing the facilities which are usually over 10 kilometres from their villages. The mothers end up attending clinics in their final trimester, thus posing a health risk to the mother and the unborn child.

Our first mobile clinic using the truck was on 15th February where we provided free health services such as neonatal care, counselling, family planning, immunization, and antenatal profile testing to over 100 mothers and 82 children.

We look forward to continuing the partnership with the Ministry of Health in impacting the lives of the people in our community.

 

Telehealth

The use of comprehensive medical technology in the diagnosis of complex conditions and treatment of patients during community-based MCH clinics is an approach that our medical staff wishes to explore.

In January 2019, HopeCore hosted 16 nurses, in partnership with MedTreks International. This is a group of volunteer nurses from the United States. The nurses offered training to our Public Health team on topics like First Aid, disaster response, neonatal resuscitation, helping the baby breath within the golden minute, CPR, how to take clinical vitals and how to triage patients. We also conducted a one-day health fair/outreach in collaboration with the MedTrek team where we offered comprehensive health services to 256 patients. The MedTreks team also trained the clinical staffs on how to use the telehealth equipment, they also donated stethoscopes, digital blood pressure machines, blood pressure cuffs, digital stethoscope, pulse oximeter, a laptop and tablet.

The telehealth technology has helped improve remote follow-up visits by our clinical staffs. Through the use of Vsee application, our clinical staffs are able to consult with experts like dermatologist who offer help in case of complex cases. This platform has enhanced accurate diagnosis; it has also offered a platform for capacity building for our clinical staff.

 

Full-time clinic

Our office-based clinic continues to expand every day with the number of patients increasing every week. For this quarter, we have managed to treat 1,307 patients where over 60% are children. We currently have a full-time nurse and a nutritionist at the clinic. At the clinic, we continue with our approach to education, prevention, and treatment services. Before the patients receive treatment, the nutritionist conducts growth monitoring for children under 5 years, offers health education to mothers that includes nutritional advice, she is also certified to conduct counselling and HIV testing.

Additionally, we intend to set up a laboratory at the facility, through in-cooperation of laboratory services to our mobile clinic programmer and the full-time clinic, we shall be able to ensure that no mother or child under 5 years fails to get treatment or gets misdiagnosed due to lack of laboratory tests. We seek to provide laboratory services to this group for early diagnosis and treatment using commonly available drugs. The laboratory shall also benefit the community at large because of its reliability and quality services.

 

Furthermore, our school-based MCH clinics have been successful in this quarter where we have managed to conduct 114 clinics, we have educated 3,019 caregivers (parents) on family planning, nutrition, immunization, breastfeeding, and chronic illnesses. We also offered free treatment to the parents.

Our comprehensive health program has continued making a remarkable impact to the lives of Tharaka Nithi residents, this is evident where out of 1,307 growth monitoring conducted for children under 5 years in this quarter, we identified 9 cases of malnourished children which represent 0.7% of the total children monitored.

Using the Beyond Zero truck in a mobile clinic.
Using the Beyond Zero truck in a mobile clinic.
Health fair day with MedTreks team
Health fair day with MedTreks team

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Jan 29, 2019

Another successful MedTreks Kenya with HopeCore!

The second week of January was another very success with HopeCore and the MedTreks teams. 16 MedTreks nurses and health educators arrived in Chogoria with bags full of extra medical supplies, health textbooks, and training materials. It was a week full of healthcare collaboration and education! 

 

Some of the highlights included: 

  • Setting up a full Telehealth clinic for the nurses
  • Teaching triage assessment in disaster settings 
  • Implementing eye and visual screening tools 
  • Refresher training on CPR and First Aid 

 

One of the biggest highlights was when each of the HopeCore nurses received their new “Nursing Go-Bags”, filled with high-quality medical equipment including stethoscope, pulse oximeter, otoscope, bandages, SAM splints, safety goggles, and various wound care supplies. Because of the generosity of donations through this Global Giving account, MedTreks had enough money to purchase 15 Child Health Textbooks at 15 high-quality stethoscopes for all the community health workers at HopeCore! 

 

The week was a complete success and HopeCore was incredibly appreciative for the new equipment to help make their job providing health to the community, easier and more effective. 

 

Our MedTreks team looks forward to returning again in August! 

 

Thank you again for supporting our program! 

 

Asante Sana! 

 

MedTreks and HopeCore 

 

 
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