Community Health Volunteer training helps mothers delivery safely in Samburu County
Amos Lenarumoi, a 22-year-old Community Health Volunteer (CHV) from Angata Nanyukie is passionate about maternal and child health. Trained in 2016 through Leap, the mHealth platform, under Uzazi Salama, a project by Amref Health Africa and PharmAccess, with funding from the Mpesa Foundation, the CHV has worked hard to increase the number of skilled deliveries in the local dispensary. According to Amos, skilled deliveries have increased due to three things; the training he received as a CHV, the transport voucher and the baby packs given to the mothers.
Leap, an innovation by Amref Health Africa, promotes continuous learning, group collaboration and supported supervision to the community health workforce using basic mobile phone technology.
“The transport voucher has helped women from far and inaccessible areas get to hospital to deliver. Before the intervention was introduced, many women would end up going through prolonged labour and lose their own, or child’s life,” states Amos.
Tired of the increasing number of maternal and child deaths, Amos decided to find ways to help his community. “When I became a CHV, I swore to help my community. I do household visits and follow-ups to make sure that the babies are fine,” states Amos proudly. The dedication and passion of Amos, and other CHVs in the region, has seen the number of skilled deliveries in the nearby facility rise from two to ten every month. Also, the community has benefited from baby packs, given to mothers who deliver at the hospital. “The baby packs have been helpful as many women in the region do not have birth plans. So, they do not get baby stuff beforehand,” explains Gladys Miriam, a beneficiary of the baby pack.
Through the Uzazi Salama CHV training, Amos was also introduced to M-Jali, an innovation by Amref Health Africa, which allows for easier record keeping. “Right now, we practice on the platform and have not started using it to register the households yet. However, we are able to add all health details of each household into the system,” he explains. “I have also referred 8 out of the 20 households I have, to the hospital for skilled labour,” he asserts.
To Amos, success in ensuring skilled delivery has also been positively affected by the nurse-in-charge of the facility. “The linkage with the facility is very strong. Whenever I call Washington Omia, the nurse-in-charge of Angata Nanyukie Dispensary, he comes to the household with the ambulance, just to make sure that both mother and child are okay,” Amos narrates. Amos believes that his work has just started and is determined to help mothers and children in Angata Nanyukie.
Uzazi Salama, a maternal and child health project by Amref Health Africa and PharmAccess, funded by the Mpesa Foundation, aims at lowering the number of maternal and child mortality in Samburu County. Using several interventions, the project has trained CHVs, formed Community Units, engaged with the communities on the importance of skilled delivery and trained health care workers on needed skills. Training of CHVs has been done through, Leap, the mHealth platform, which is an innovation by Amref Health Africa.
Michelle Dibo – Communications, Amref Health Africa