By Lorraine Anyango
Vitamin A supplementation and deworming for boys and girls aged 6-59 months will be accelerated in Kisumu County, thanks to an MOU signed between Hellen Keller International and the department of health and Sanitation.
Through the MOU, Kisumu County gets to benefit from interventions including the capacity building of 65 health workers and 649 community health workers on VAS and deworming every semester.
Mobilization of all caregivers with children aged 6-59 months will be conducted, distribution of VAS and deworming to the same cohort will be undertaken, and there will also be logistical support at the National and County level during support supervision.
Further during the implementation of this MOU data review meetings will be conducted every six months, while routine data quality assessment once a year will be undertaken. Strengthen coordination among nutrition players and support post-event coverage survey.
The County Executive Committee Member for Health and Sanitation Dr. Greggory Ganda while signing the MOU said that the project will rely heavily on data generated from the Community Health workers Information System (CHIS) as the CHWs can identify by name the community members.
“The CHIS will help identify at the press of a button those who have received the vitamin A supplement and those who have not.” He added saying that the system was put up at a cost if kesh 40 million.
In the MOU, the department of health is expected to ensure that Vitamin A supplementation (VAS) and the deworming program is part of routine services that should be delivered to children 6 to 59 months twice annually, at health facility, ECDE, and community unit level.
Hence, the department is expected to fully integrate the activities into their regular planning while ensuring that they provide deworming drugs required during malezi bora.
The department is also expected to ensure the full cooperation of health workers and CHVs with Helen Keller International in training, Mobilization, distributions, reporting, and day-to-day activities related to the provision of VAS and deworming.
Dr. Ganda urged Hellen Keiller to consider supporting the CHWs with incentives. He said the department was looking into ways to keep the CHW highly motivated in the programs being undertaken.
He said that the CHWs are mandated to visit every single household at least once in three months to be able to access their conditions. “Will demand that the CHW completes 70% of their work before qualifying for an incentive.” He added.
Mr. Solomon Omariba, the Country Director of Hellen Keller said that the rest of the county should pilot Kisumu’s community health digitization. He added that the pilot should work out so that it’s called up nationally.
Dr. Ganda noted that the gap existing in digitization is the lack of a specific identifier running across the CHIS.
Mr. Omariba said that digitization is the way forward for the health sector while appreciating that the Hellen Keller organization has set aside resources to support digitization.
He noted that currently organizations are doing lots of replication hence a lot of resources are going to waste, adding that it’s time to channel the resources elsewhere to even digitization in the health sector. Mr. Omariba added.