KENYA’S ISIOLO COUNTY COMMUNITY HEALTH WORKERS TRAINING & LAUNCH OF MALARIA PROJECT REPORT

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AFRICAN EVANGELISTIC ENTERPRISE KENYA
MALARIA INTERVENTION IN ISIOLO COUNTY, KENYA

African Enterprise Kenya in collaboration with Isiolo County Government and the local churches is promoting a unique and highly effective intervention that is aimed at significantly reducing malaria related mortality & morbidity rates in Isiolo through a community malaria management strategy. This initiative is in line to African Enterprise’s city wide mission to Isiolo County this year. In line with this, African Enterprise Kenya facilitated a two days capacity building training workshop for selected 29 community health workers in Isiolo. This training was conducted from 29th – 30th May 2014 in Isiolo County.

An excited Mr. Wario Boru (Chief Health Officer) after receiving a sample microscope from African Enterprise on behalf of Remote Health facilities in Isiolo County courtesy of Bye Bye Malaria Foundation

The Community Health Workers & Community Health Extension Workers (CHW’s & CHEW’s) were drawn from 14 community health units where they are tasked with the responsibility of promoting and facilitating Malaria diagnosis and ensure any patient who tests positive is quickly referred to the nearest health facility for treatment and further observation.

William Muchiri (AEE Kenya Project Manager) addressing the Excited & Committed Community Health Workers during training

The County Health Officer Mr. Wario Boru is very supportive of this intervention as Isiolo County is largely underserved with medical facilities. Malaria is a leading killer in this county and this initiative is therefore going to be a game changer in promotion and provision of health service within this remote county

Sample Rapid Testing Kits for Malaria

The participating community health workers (CHW’s) were very excited about the prospects of this initiative and they promised to ensure that Malaria related deaths reduced and ultimately eradicated in their respective communities. Expectant mothers as well as children will be prioritized due to their vulnerability to Malaria. According to Isiolo County Health Officers who were involved in this training, over 5,000 households are going to directly benefit from this intervention.

During the training exercise, the AE Team paid a courtesy call to Isiolo County Chief Officer in charge of health Mr. Wario Boru and his team. Mr. Wario was very pleased with this innovative initiative and thanked AE for considering & settling on Isiolo County to benefit from this intervention. He underscored the critical importance of this intervention in light of the County’s challenges in health care delivery. Mr. Wario promised that the community health workers who were trained by AE are going to be supported by his office to ensure they succeed in their roles.
The County Officer in charge of laboratory services Mrs. Zahra Hassan thereafter led the AE team on a tour to the various health centers within the county. We noted with great concern that most health center’s lacked functional laboratories and all them were grossly understaffed, all of the health centers that we visited were manned by only 2 health workers. The microscope donation to the remote health centers will come in handy in this County. AEE will distribute the microscopes and glucometers donated by Bye Bye Malaria Foundation through AE Canada. This will be done across all the remote health centers during AEE Kenya’s gospel proclamation period from 26th June to 6th July, 2014.
The participating health workers are going to be provided with Malaria Rapid Testing Kits, reporting forms, and other supplies by the county government. The participating health workers thanked African Enterprise for facilitating the training and for empowering them. They promised and committed themselves to ensure malaria prevention, testing, and treatment awareness succeeds in their communities. The requested African Enterprise to continue supporting them in replenishing their service kits, shoes, and any other relevant support to ensure they succeed in their work. The community health workers trained by AE are therefore going to be a valuable asset in their communities.

Mrs. Janet Mwendwa being tested for Malaria after the successful training

This training was preceded by several months of mobilizing the church, health officers and community health workers to help them get the concept of conducting Malaria testing at the community level. By the grace of God, the training marked the successful launch of the Malaria Project in Isiolo. Special thanks go to Bye Malaria Foundation and AE Canada for continued support and commitment in eradicating malaria. AEE Kenya team who have worked relentlessly in ensuring that the project kicked off. We pray and believe that many lives will be saved as a result of this initiative.

VERBATIM TESTIMONIES

Name: Mrs. Lucy Mwenda Waithera
Age: 34 Years.
“I am a mother of five children and I have been an active CHW for the last five years. I come from Kiwanjani East Location in Isiolo County. This training has greatly empowered and equipped me as I now feel confident to serve my village in testing malaria. When there are many patients at the community health center, I also volunteer there to ensure everyone is served as there are very few nurses and malaria is very rampant in our area. I am very proud of what African Enterprise has done to us”

An excited Lucy Mwenda after receiving Malaria testing skills

Name: Mr. Peter Ekeri
“I am 36 years old and a father of two children & I have come from Ngaremara location in Isiolo. This training has helped me as a CHW because health facilities are few and far from the village. This training has enabled me to know to test and treat malaria and now I will be able help people in my village. I will be like a doctor in my village and family and I will persuade anyone with malaria symptoms to come and take a test. I will also talk to my area chief so that I can be given an opportunity to raise awareness on the danger of malaria during public meetings. May God bless AE for this great opportunity?”

Peter Ekeri talking to AEE crew shortly after the training (background is other training participants)

Ann Muia

Meeting this single mother in Isiolo kept the African Enterprise (AE) team thrilled. Isiolo is where African Evangelistic Enterprise (AEE) Kenya is holding her 2014 proclamation mission. The Malaria project in Isiolo backs up the word of God as the ‘deed’ part of transforming lives through holistic gospel delivery. Ann is a lady who was a beneficiary of AE’s Mathare Women Project in Nairobi about 10 years ago when Janet Mwendwa was the project Administrator. As Mrs. Mwendwa was preaching in a Full Gospel Church in Isiolo, she spotted a familiar face in the congregation. Ann looked very excited to meet the AE family after some years of separation since her graduation from the Mathare Women Rehabilitation project in Nairobi. She actually committed herself to support the proclamation mission through her church. After the service, she quickly came to speak to Mrs. Janet Mwendwa and began to narrate her story as follows;

“Thank you very much for training me at the Mathare Women Project and introducing me to the Lord. The competition in Nairobi markets was high after I graduated from your center and resolved to move to Isiolo. I have diversified my business; I work on the dress-making tenders I get and in addition I do farming and sell my produce. I am also a strong believer in the Lord and now serving the Lord joyfully in this church and in Isiolo community. I would say that God has been very gracious to me. When you were preaching, I heard you mention the Malaria project AEE has launched in Isiolo. You have honestly been sent by God to rescue the lives of Isiolo people from Malaria. This disease is rampant here; it actually took away my eight-year old daughter last year because it was detected too late. If only someone had tested her in good time at the community level, I believe it would have been treated early and my lovely daughter will be alive today. All the same I thank God because my daughter had accepted Christ as her savior and she therefore rested in the Lord”.

Ann’s testimony ended on a sad note due the report of her daughter’s death but you could clearly see that her hope in the Lord was renewed. We left the church encouraged that presenting the gospel holistically through ‘word’ and ‘deed’ is truly transformational.

An excited Anne Muia holding her son at the Full Gospel Church, Isiolo after a church service

Submitted by Stuart Spani Sap Putara.

Traveling e-mail stuartsp1932@gmail.com