Africa-Press – Kenya. President William Ruto on Monday flagged off 100,000 kits to be used by community health promoters in the counties.
This sets the pace for the country’s journey towards attainment of universal health coverage with CHPs as the centre of the response at community levels.
The kits include a backpack, first aid box, jacket (medium and large), weighing scale, infrared clinical thermometer, mid-upper arm circumference tape (paediatric) and muac tape (adult).
The aim is to empower and equip CHPs with essential tools to enhance healthcare access and promote healthier communities.
The CHPs will play a critical role in decongesting hospitals in the country by helping diagnose and treat minor ailments at the community level.
Ruto acknowledged that there have been challenges with advancing the stipends on time, and assured the CHPs that they will not experience any more delays.
“I want to assure from next month when we launch this programme, your stipend will come on time, and we will make sure that it is paid digitally,” Ruto said.
“By launching the essential kits to equip CHPs, we are making a bold statement of our intent to take a big step towards winning our nation’s long-standing struggle for freedom from disease using a bottom-up strategy,” the President added.
Ruto said once the CHPs are unveiled, Kenyans will no longer need to travel to a health facility for basic screening and the treatment of minor ailments.
Instead, the CHPs will go to Kenyans and serve them at their homes.
Health CS Susan Nakhumicha said with a population of approximately 50 million people and an estimated 10 million households, the strategy for outreach is to leave no one behind.
The team of 100,000 dedicated CHPs who will officially be unveiled on Mashujaa Day celebrations in Kericho next month, will each be responsible for 100 households.
Ten CHPs each tasked with their 100 households give a total of 1,000 households which will in turn form a Community Health Unit.
The ministry has established approximately 10,000 Community Health Units which are a part of a larger Primary Care Network (PCN).
This means that each unit is linked to a specific level 2 health facility (commonly known as a dispensary) and a level 3 health facility (commonly known as a health centre).
These facilities are mapped to level 4 facilities, such as subcounty or county hospitals, creating a hub-and-spoke model where the level 4 facility serves as the central point.
“By placing emphasis on preventive and promotive healthcare services, we are sure we can achieve early diagnosis and ensure timely referrals are made when needed, right from the bottom,” Nakhumicha said.
Unicef Kenya Representative Shaheen Nilofer said the move marks a crucial step towards establishing an equitable and effective primary healthcare system, anchored by a well-trained professionalised community workforce.
She said relying on CHPs will help reduce disparities, especially those historically marginalised and under-served from accessing quality healthcare.
“This transformation will be a game changer for pastoralists, nomads, and remote communities in ASAL, informal settlements, and other underserved areas across Kenya,” Nilofer said.
She reaffirmed the government’s commitment to providing stipends to all 100,000 CHPs in Kenya, coupled with cost-sharing arrangements is a transformative shift.