What exactly does your work entail, and how did COVID affect it?
My main duty is to provide technical and support supervision to CHWs like Doreen. Considering COVID, I was still able to do my work remotely, because we got airtime and data support. We prepared them on safety protocols and supported them with free essential medicines, PPE, airtime, and data to ensure continuity in delivering essential health services irrespective of the pandemic.
What has your experience been like supporting CHW Doreen?
Doreen is an asset to her community, and a very good performer. She is self-driven and results-oriented. That’s why she is one of the leaders I appointed to support her fellow CHWs in troubleshooting tech issues. She is also very supportive of others, especially the new recruits.
How did your branch turn around the performance of CHWs to achieve remarkable preliminary RCT results?
We ensured CHW motivation! This was through effective training and setting of manageable targets, which we review monthly. We have also put in extra effort to train some of them to troubleshoot tech-related challenges. Personally, I have built good relationships with the CHWs I supervise—and their spouses—to ease communication. I have also built comradeship amongst the CHWs, which has enabled them to support one another and be more effective. For instance, they have devised means to cover for one another in case of sickness or other challenges that might temporarily take them away from work.
What challenges have you encountered in your work?
The biggest challenge I have faced, especially during the lockdown, was keeping in touch with CHWs, due to restrictions in movement. This made it difficult to ensure service delivery and data quality, especially when we experienced tech challenges.
As we head into 2022, and considering the new strategic plan, what are you most excited about?
For the last 15 years, Living Goods has developed expertise in community health approaches that have been externally evaluated and proven to be effective in significantly reducing child mortality. I am excited that we are heading into implementation of the new ambitious strategic plan that will ensure sustainable community health interventions, delivered through governments.