We are delighted by the Kenyan government’s commitment and plans to accelerate the digitization of all CHWs (community health workers) nationally, with a planned presidential launch in October. In June, the MoH kickstarted plans to enroll all CHWs on the electronic community health information system (eCHIS) with a two-day refresher training program for master trainers.
We were excited that many of these trainers were from Kisumu where Living Goods supported the eCHIS pilot. The trainers will then cascade the eCHIS training program in their respective counties. The MoH plans to equip 100,000 CHWs and community health assistants – government supervisors – with smartphones in a phased approach, starting with 25,000 phones in seven counties.
CHWs will also receive an expanded supply kit and enhanced compensation, with the county government contributing KSH 2,500 monthly and the national government matching the funds.
“With timely data, we are better placed to make informed decisions. We can tell the areas that need our immediate attention, including health outreaches, and identify indigents and the interventions to provide,” says Ruth Ojuka, the Nyando Sub-County Community Health focal person. “Digitization has proven to be efficient, reliable and cost-effective,” she adds.
This recognition that all DESC (Digitally-enabled, Equipped, Supervised, Compensated) elements are necessary to deliver impactful services at the community level is exciting and we look forward to the rollout and how it will be sustained. While this development is undoubtedly an important and positive step, we acknowledge that rapid scale of eCHIS may pose potential challenges in platform readiness, data management, connectivity and more.
We will continue to partner with the MoH and Medic (the platform provider) to monitor and mitigate challenges as they may arise, and advocate for continued investment and focus on other DESC elements to further drive CHW performance and impact.
As a strategic and technical partner to Kenya’s national and sub-national governments, we are proud to have played a pivotal role in laying the foundation for this work, through sharing lessons and evidence generated from our programmatic work in Kenya and Uganda.
Living Goods supported critical elements that paved the way for the digitization of the community health workforce plans, including analysis of the digital landscape, strategy development and costing and implementation planning.
We will also continue to provide thought partnership in further shaping the enabling environment and securing long-term financing for the planned activities. A national Primary Health Care Bill is already in development to streamline the implementation of community health services in Kenya. Living Goods will continue to support the scaleup of eCHIS and other elements of DESC to ensure effective community-based service delivery in Isiolo, Kisumu, and Vihiga counties where we have existing co-financing agreements. We have plans to support additional counties next year.
To learn more about the eCHIS journey, watch the video below: