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May 10, 2018

Updates for MedTreks Kenya Educational Program

Greetings,

Our MedTreks program has continued to expand and we are excited to share some updates on the project. 

As the nursing and community health team continues to grow at HopeCore, there is an even greater need for mentorship and continuing education and training for the staff. Our goal with MedTreks is to provide this opportunity through our MedTreks educational program. We have identified a few new areas that we can help to facilitate training and education for the HopeCore staff. 

1. Educational Newsletter: in May of this year, we started the MedTreks educational newsletter, where several MedTreks members provide articles on pertinent public health topics that would be useful to the staff in Kenya such as basic first aid topics, pediatrics, dermatology, infectious disease, orthopedics, women's health and family medicine. This newsletter will continue on a quarterly basis and we look forward to having feedback from the HopeCore staff on topics that they would like to learn in the future newsletters. 

2. Telemedicine Program: we are very excited about continuing our contribution to facilitating education, training, and consultation the implementation of HopeCore's first Telehealth program. A group of the MedTreks nurses will be returning in July to help set up this very user-friendly Telehealth system for the HopeCore staff. The plan will be to use this for monthly education meetings but also scheduled follow up visits that will be conducted by the HopeCore staff and used to consult with medical providers from MedTreks who will offer medical advice. 

 As we continue to expand, we are fortunate to have such a strong team of dedicated individuals as part of this program, both at MedTreks and HopeCore. 

Thank you for your continued support!

Mar 29, 2018

A new cohort of health promoters

The new cohort with the MedTreks trainers
The new cohort with the MedTreks trainers

Over the next two years, 2018 and 2019, we aim to implement a far-reaching community health worker program. We will train each of these neighborhood community health volunteers (primarily women) to be agents of change in their community. They will conduct outreach to homes, monitor women’s pregnancies, and ensure our schools are participating in healthy behavior.  

Each of these NCHVs are equipped with a mobile phone. HopeCore has developed a mobile application for both data collection and training purposes. The NCHVs have, at their fingertips, a huge amount of health information that will support them as they offer services to the women in their community.

In January, HopeCore launched the above program to support the overarching maternal and child health program. We are so excited to share the details of the training of these health promotors. The training was offered over 6 days. 

The training objectives for the 6 day training were 1) to have competent NCHVs; 2) To be the first line in combating poverty in the community; 3) To build connections with others in the community; 4) To explore the importance of partnership in improving community health. 

Day 1: Introduction, purpose of NCHVs, HopeCore's objectives, governance of NCHVs within HopeCore's existing strutcutres, roles and responsibilities of NCHVs, leadership qualities of a community leader, communication skills, counselling skills. 

The first session on the concept of NCHVs was a word visualization exercise where the participants were asked to say out loud the first words that came their minds upon hearing the words neighborhood community health volunteers. At this point the participants were already so eager to strategize and plan that the agenda be adjusted and we have more time for this sessions. The topics were well structured and captured the main basics that the NCHVs needed to know for the day.

Communications skills were greatly emphasized during this day towards focusing on the approach we give to our clients in the community, while delivering our services for the success of our programs. Qualities of a community leader were also echoed on day one training, considering the fact that our NCHV are the lead ambassadors who will act as change agents in our community through their leadership qualities. 

Day 2: First Aid and CPR

On day 2 of the training, our neighborhood community health volunteers were trained by the MedTreks team. The trainees were very attentive during this session, after realizing that this is something that can be of help, not only in HopeCore but in the community and in their homes. Most of the trainees are parents and were very grateful to MedTreks Nurses for giving them an opportunity to learn how to handle most of the accidents at home or at work, through first aid and other emergencies.

Day 3: Preconception care, focused antenatal care, individual birth plans, breastfeeding, family planning

Day 3 started with a recap of the previous days in which the NCHVs remembered 95% of what they had previously covered. The topics here were of particular interest to the NCHVs and they have requested additional trainings on these topics. 

Day 3: Nutrition, malnutrition, growth monitoring, deworming, and Vitamin A

The trainers used the morning sections to cover malnutrition, vitamin A and deworming, summing it up with a description of the HopeCore's health hotline. After lunch the trainers jumped to tackle growth monitoring and nutrition assessment, which took bit of time to show the practical part in growth monitoring and filling in the forms, which took much time for the trainees to comprehend the whole procedure. The trainees will need refresher trainings on how the NCHVs are doing the growth monitoring in the field.

Day 4: Introduction to sexual and reproductive health, STIs, HIV/AIDS & PMTCT, tuberculosis, youth counseling and referals, value clarification, data collection

Day 4 was very successful and we are expecting a great impact based on the training topics we trained especially on youth matters from the villages, churches, homes and community at large

Day 5: Malaria, diarrhea, oral rehydration therapy, coughs and colds, skin and eye infections

Today, emphasis was put on diarrhoea and oral rehydration therapy administration in order to curb the number of diarrhoea case in our community. Malaria was too emphasized and the importance of using a mosquito net was shown to be essential in curbing the spread of malaria.

Day 6: Water, hygiene, and sanitation, data application training

The NCHVs were trained on the importance of drinking clean water and encouraging hand washing in their communities. We discussed the impact dirty water and lack of hand hygiene can have on the health of children. Additionally, the mobile application for data collection and education was introduced, but there needs to be significant additional training on the application. This additional training will be done during the monthly refresher trainings that will come in the future. 

The whole team looks forward to integrating these neighborhood community health volunteers into HopeCore's maternal and child health programming.

This year is the year of education at HopeCore which is why we have focused so heavily in describing the training in this report. We will have monthly refreshers for the NCHVs and will continue to build their knowledge base and skills. By empowering community members with health information we are stopping the spread of misinformation, acting as a resource to the community, and imbedding accurate health information providers in homes around Maara Sub county. 

Jan 2, 2018

A summary of 2017

Home visits around Chogoria
Home visits around Chogoria

Our health program continues to demonstrate impressive successes. The team held an average of 30 maternal and child health clinics and 36 mobile clinics each month, reaching over 7,000 mothers with health education.

We are helping mothers and youth plan their lives through health education and provision of family planning.

Our clean drinking water program continues to be successful in 200 schools, reaching 45,000 children. With 12 new schools being built over the last 3 years, we were able to install clean drinking water tanks and hand washing stations in each of them this year. Additionally, we continue to deliver soap for hand washing to schools each term to reduce the stomach illnesses in children and their teachers.

HopeCore's health services are now offered to over 100,000 women and children in and around Chogoria.  

Here are some more 2017 highlights: 

  • Distributed over 2,000 long-lasting, insecticide treated mosquito bed nets
  • Had almost 2,000 visits to the office-based Youth Center
  • Distributed 460 reusable and disposable sanitary pads to girls, and provided health education to each one of them

We have big plans for 2018! Below are some of our new goals: 

  • Recruit, train, and manage 50 new neighborhood-based community health workers
  • Establish HopeCore Health Coordinator teachers in 170 schools in Maara Sub County, ensuring health messages are constantly reinforced and children are healthier
  • Ensure 70% of children in schools are drinking clean water and washing their hands before and after meals
  • Distribute 5,000 long-lasting, insecticide treated, mosquito bed nets
  • Establish a learning resource center for the community at HopeCore's Chogoria office

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