CHW Stories During COVID-19 in Kenya

CHV Lydia Gavinta, Busia County

My community was affected by flooding just as the COVID pandemic emerged in Kenya. Tracing my clients was a challenge because families were scattered in different displacement camps. To make matters worse, many health facilities in the area had to close, and with impassable roads, families seeking health services were forced to pay high costs of boat fares to access far-flung health facilities. As most of us lost our property and livelihoods, life in the camps has not been easy. There are food shortages and limited access to clean water, which poses an increased risk of diseases like diarrhea, malnutrition, and malaria among young children. Thankfully, armed with free essential medicines from Living Goods, we CHVs are ensuring that children receive timely treatment and that no young life is needlessly lost. We are also supporting pregnant mothers and educating families in and around the camp on COVID-19 to manage the spread of the disease.

Alice Wangui, Kiambu County

As a community health volunteer (CHV) my work revolves around promoting the health of mothers and children below five years. But with the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, my work now also includes a lot of public sensitization on prevention and management of the disease. That’s because, although information about COVID-19 is broadcast on TV and radio, there are many people in my area with limited access to either and with no one to educate them. After receiving training and information posters, I have become a source of accurate information in my community. At first, my clients were skeptical about the new measures I was proposing to them, but as I persisted in educating them, they are now letting go of myths and appreciating the importance of wearing masks, regular hand washing, and observing social distance to protect themselves and their families.

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