The government has been urged to draft laws on Community Health Workers(CHWs) and health operations in an effort to help it achieve its Universal Health Care (UHC) agenda
Speaking during the launch of the Africa Media Network on Health (AMNH) Lower Eastern Region Chapter at a Machakos hotel, Amref Kenya Health Systems Strengthening Manager, George Oele pointed out that failure to recognize CHWs by law and policy contribute to high attribution rate and re-emergence of communicable diseases.
Oele pointed out that the government’s recognition of CHWs through factoring the workers in the national budget can go a long way in motivating the volunteers who play a very crucial role in the heath sector.
“Through proper remuneration and legislation, CHWs can help the government achieve its quality Universal Health Care. However, UHC is not possible without motivated and paid Community Health Workers,” said Oele.
He pointed that every citizen has a right to access quality and affordable health care which CHWs can help achieve by linking households to health facilities.
He regretted that expectant mothers and children in remote areas have been dying because they do not have access to quality health care which paid and motivated CHWs can offer.
He however exuded confidence that Amref Kenya in collaboration with the Health Systems Advocacy campaign (HSAP), the Medicine Transparency Alliance (META) Kenya and AMNH may soon win the war through its on-going campaign agenda for recognition of CHWs in the health sector
Speaking during the launch, AMNH official, Marie Yombo pointed that the launch of the AMNH Lower Eastern Chapter will create opportunities for journalists to have access to available health opportunities to enable them cut a niche in health reporting.
Ms. Yombo noted that AMNH which was a brain Child of Amref aims at bringing accountability in health reporting by helping journalists network with health stakeholders and know what is happening in the health sector.
“Health reporting is very rewarding .You interract with people at a personal level. You must win the people’s trust that you will deliver the story well,” said Yombo
“What we are launching today is a regional network, but at the same time we also have country chapters,” she added
AMNH is currently operating its media network in Uganda, Zambia, Malawi and Tanzania and plans to expand its network to five other African Countries by end of this year.
The network recently launched the Mombasa and Nyanza chapters and aims to expand to other regions in the country by end of the year
Amref Health Africa is a non-governmental organisation established in1957 and headquartered in Nairobi.
Its vision is to offer Lasting Health Change in Kenya and has operations in all 47 counties in the country through working closely with communities, county and national government, and other stakeholders to provide a broad range of services designed to strengthen health systems.