• The volunteers are involved in preventive measures, including sensitisation, immunisation, and maternal healthcare support (antenatal and postnatal services).
• The county has 4,000 CHVs who support health initiatives at the grassroots. Nyoro said their work is crucial, hence they deserve to be fully equipped and appreciated.
Kiambu county community health volunteers have been given comprehensive health kits to enable them to respond to patients with non-communicable diseases.
The kits present to 200 CHVs on Thursday by Governor James Nyoro included a digital thermometer, weighing scale, paracetamols, Zinc sulphate and a blood pressure testing machine.
Nyoro said the county has 4,000 CHVs who support health initiatives at the grassroots. He said their work is crucial, hence they deserve to be fully equipped and appreciated.
The volunteers are involved in preventive measures, including sensitisation, immunisation, and maternal healthcare support (antenatal and postnatal services).
"I acknowledge the work CHVs are doing, they are the foundation of health as they are at the grassroots to prevent people from crowding hospitals by offering preventive measures of health, especially on non-communicable diseases,” he said.
“The problem in Kiambu concerning health is lifestyle diseases such as diabetes and hypertension. The health kit will help a patient to know what they are suffering from after being checked for blood pressure and weight.”
Nyoro said the CHVs have been trained as nurses and should be respected by health officers in charge of dispensaries or health centres to which they are attached.
“When CHVs enter dispensaries or health centres, they should be treated as doctors. We will make sure it is implemented... so they are given respect,” he said.
Nyoro ordered the County Public Service Board, the Health department and chief of staff to deliberate on how the CHVs can be given stipends. He demanded a report in two weeks.
“Even if a stipend is not allowed, we need to think of how CHVs will be able to get something as we look into the stipend issue, so they can operate,” Nyoro said.
He said they will table a bill in the assembly for CHVs to be getting a stipend of Sh2,000 each a month.
“With 4,000 CHVs that would translate into Sh8 million a month which is a small price to pay for saving human lives. There is a lot of revenue lost and we need Kiambu residents to help us identify areas where our own-source revenue is being lost, to help pay the CHVs,” Nyoro said.
He said health workers' allowances should be paid promptly to avoid strikes as residents deserve first-class services.
Njuguna Njoroge, a CHV in Cianda, Kiambaa, said they have been lobbying to have medical kits since 2017 as exposure to health risks, especially during this Covid-19 period, left them vulnerable.
Njoroge said without kits they used to call dispensaries or health centres near them—a situation he blamed for derailing efforts to attend to patients.
“We are glad that the government has seen our worth and decided to appreciate us. The way they look after doctors and nurses, even CHVs deserve to be looked after the same way. We have never been given any monetary support; we have been volunteering all through,” he said.
Winnie Njeri said they have many challenges as the resources they use mostly come from their pockets when some patients are in dire need of treatment.
She called for the recruitment of additional CHVs so they can reach many people in need of health services at the grassroots.
Edited by F'Orieny