Community members, district health workers and AMREF staff gathered at one of the 5 health centres supported by the project to witness the official launch of the Comic Relief-sponsored initiative.
The convenient location for the project launch inspired a 'Health Day' for the community, with the centre open and offering its usual services, plus extra facilities such as voluntary HIV/AIDs testing and counselling, as well as diagnostic services not normally available at the centre.
Speakers at the launch included Deputy Country Director for AMREF Kenya, Dr Ndriagu who called on the community itself to get behind the project, and do all they could to drive it forwards and implement change within their own families. He said:
'It is our hope that by 2016, with the support from you, the community, and from the Direct Health Management team, we will enable over 30,000 expectant mothers and 20,000 children to have better access to high quality health care in the county.'
Over four years AMREF's Comic Relief-funded project will:
- Train 65 Health Workers at district level equipping them with the knowledge and skills to successfully support mothers and children.
- Work with 1,200 Community Health Workers (CHWs) training them to bring essential health awareness and education, as well as basic health services, directly to the communities.
- Train 15 lab technicians in the diagnosis of key diseases.
- Work alongside communities to help establish a Community Based Health Management Information System – a proven tool for successfully recording accurate and timely results to ensure that the project stays on track.
- Establish and support 24 Community Health Committees, responsible for managing the on-going health action within the region. The members of these groups will be elected from youth groups, women’s groups, members of the CHW staff, and other respected community members, ensuring that all demographics within the community are represented.
AMREF UK's Director of Programmes, Miranda Harington attended the launch and said the community really welcomed the project, ‘It was inspiring to see so many members of the community come out to support the launch of the project, which will no doubt have a profound effect on the future of their health, and their families’ health.’