Mixed Results Amidst Severe Drought in Isiolo

A severe drought due to the failure of four consecutive rainy seasons has put many people’s lives at risk. Isiolo—one of our co-financed implementation support sites—is one of the hardest-hit counties. Hunger has reached a nearly 40-year record high, and we are concerned about the potential for malnutrition among the most vulnerable. Therefore, the need for affordable and accessible CHW services is more important than ever, as a prolonged drought limits resources in the population. With support from partners, the county government is undertaking mass screening of U5 children and lactating mothers to determine their nutritional statuses. Those found to be malnourished are initiated on treatment and linked to health facilities. We continue to work closely with the county government to enhance delivery of life-saving community interventions by building the capacity of CHWs to ensure data is captured around those identified as at-risk in mass screenings and following up with those referred for facility-based care.

Community health assistant Judith Kairuthi distributes medicines to CHWs in Isiolo County.

The percentage of CHWs fully vaccinated against COVID in Isiolo county is now 57%.

CHWs in Isiolo posted mixed results in Q3, amidst challenges included supply chain issues and conflicting priorities for CHWs and supervisors who were engaged in political campaigns. CHWs in Merti sub-county were not supplied with medicines in July, which subsequently affected their August stock levels and ability to treat sick children; however, medicines were successfully distributed across all sub-counties starting in late August. CHWs also had some amoxicillin in stock and continued to treat pneumonia cases as per the community-level treatment guidelines approved by MoH earlier last year.

We continue to have a productive working relationship with the county government. For example, Living Goods branch teams have facilitated monthly data review meetings with county staff to ensure close follow-up on all home deliveries and missed on-time PNC visits, which are critical to occur within 48 hours of birth because of the increased risk of death
immediately after birth.

Though below target, family planning KPIs have improved thanks to the team’s continuous coaching of CHWs on family planning as well as targeted follow-ups with women of reproductive age who are yet to receive these services. We will encourage CHWs to continue sensitizing their communities about family planning and about the importance of registering pregnancies with their CHWs for the long-term benefits of both mother and child. Another successful push was a COVID vaccination drive, with frequent data sharing on community members’ vaccination status. The percentage of CHWs fully vaccinated in Isiolo county is now 57%.

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