The County Government of Makueni has set aside Sh12M for the Community Health Care Support Program.
Executive Committee Member (ECM) for Health Dr. Andrew Mulwa said the money will be used to remunerate the community health workers and procure necessary equipment to help improve access to health care especially in far-flung areas.
Speaking on Thursday during the launch of 12 motorcycles donated to the program by Christian Aid, a non-governmental organization Dr. Mulwa said most of the health workers were working on a volunteer basis and the stipend would make the community health care units sustainable.
Dr. Mulwa also added that the Department of Health besides giving the stipend will also initiate income-generating activities for the community health units to supplement their income.
He underscored the role that the program has played in improving health care in the county for the last two years particularly maternal services and intimated that the county government was willing to commit reasonable resources to the community health units to achieve quality health care.
“The concept of community health strategy is very effective if well utilized. We shall procure 20 more motorcycles for the program and am sure Makueni County will lead the country in the adoption of community health care system,” said the ECM.
Dr. Mulwa noted that the program had worked effectively in countries like Ethiopia and said the department plans to replicate the Ethiopian model and connect each family with a community health unit.
“Ethiopia through the community health units has been able to achieve 100 percent skilled birth and child immunization and the fact the program has succeeded is an indication that it can work elsewhere,” he said.
He noted that Makueni had not achieved the desired skilled birth rate and immunization but exuded confidence that the program will help champion for improved maternal health care and family planning.
“93 percent of children in Makueni are taken for immunization but the rates keep fluctuating to as low as 75 percent and we hope that the community health units will avert the trend,” said Dr. Mulwa.
Christian Aid Health and Governance Officer Christopher Waithanji lauded the efforts that the county government has made in integrating community health units but noted that more needs to be done to achieve the desired results.
“My appeal to the county government is to full support the program and provide more motorcycles to help residents access health care,” said Waithanji.
Makueni County currently has 109 community health units and according to Dr. Mulwa, the program has significantly improved access to maternal health service.