Amref Health Africa in Kenya is responding to the COVID-19 pandemic in seven counties with financial support from the Government of Canada through Global Affairs Canada.
The funding is an extension of the organization’s Canada-Africa Initiative to Address Maternal, Newborn, and Child Mortality project.
The COVID-19 response project is expected to run until June 2021 and will benefit Migori, Homabay, Siaya, Bomet, Kakamega, Bungoma, and Busia counties.
The COVID-19 response activities comprise integrated efforts that will ensure increased skills and knowledge of community health human resources to safely treat patients; improved water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) practices among local communities; and increased information and awareness of COVID-19 prevention, management, and control based on Ministry of Health guidelines.
Dr Meshack Ndirangu, Country Director, Amref Health Africa in Kenya commented: “We have been at the forefront in COVID-19 response, not just here in Kenya but in other African countries. We look forward to working with our partners to help slow the spread of COVID-19 in communities that are at the core of our work.”
The interventions will address specific needs of each county. Capacity building for human resources for health will see the training of 756 health care workers on baby friendly community initiatives, maternal, newborn and child health, maternal, infant and young child nutrition in the COVID-19 context; 18,000 community health volunteers (CHVs) on infection prevention and control (IPC) as well as home based care for COVID-19 patients; 400 counselors on psycho-social first aid in the context of COVID-19; and, 468 county public health, nurses and health facilities in charges on infection prevention and control in hospitals aligned with COVID-19 guidelines.
Under the WASH component, 100 hand-washing stations will be procured and installed in public spaces and hotspots; 50 isolation and treatments centers, and hotspots will be decontaminated; 280 health care workers will be provided with Personal Protective Equipment (PPE); and, 1,400 youths will be facilitated to undertake environmental cleaning in line with the Government’s initiative of Safisha Mji during the pandemic.
The project will also enhance risk communication and community engagement for management and control of COVID-19. Inter-personal behavior change communication will be a key focus to encourage the adoption of safe hygienic practices in households, health facilities, and hotspots (public spaces).