Living Goods is celebrating the passage of the Busia County Community Health Services Act, 2021, which was enacted in August but publicly promoted in October. Once the new law is operationalized, the county’s more than 2,000 CHWs will begin to receive regular stipends, well stocked toolkits, health insurance and certification, among other health system strengthening initiatives.
Busia is the 9th of Kenya’s 47 counties to enact and launch community health legislation. Since 2018, Living Goods and other partners have walked this journey with government to ensure community health funding is sustainably entrenched in law. We are now supporting full implementation of the law to formalize DESC-enabled support for the county’s community health workforce.
“CHWs, who are well known ‘doctors’ at the grassroots, have trust of the community. Their stipend had been a challenge before the enactment of the Act. The county has already allocated US $368,000, with plans to top up the amount to cater for their stipends for 12 months.”
This exciting milestone exemplifies our growing focus on codifying system-level change into policies that can outlive incumbent governments. Before transitioning out of Kisii, Kiambu, Kakamega and Nakuru counties in July, we were supporting the development of their community health bills. These were all at different stages, but we successfully supported the enactment of the Kisii Community Health Services (CHS) Act in Q1 2021.
Isiolo and Kisumu counties’ Community Health Services bills are still works in progress, as is the national bill, but we continue working on guidelines for other counties to follow, including those we do not actively support. Living Goods and other partners are collaborating to support government in ensuring a strong enabling environment that will augment government commitment and institutionalize integrated, digitized community health systems across the country.