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Community health workers help reduce cost of treating malaria

By JECKONIA OTIENO | Sat,Aug 25 2018 08:50:27 EAT

 400 Youths graduate as community health workers in Meru on 13th July 2018. [Peter Muthomi, Standard]

The cost of diagnosis and treatment of malaria has reduced in most affected counties.

An evaluation carried out by the Ministry of Health and Amref Health Africa attributed the low cost to roll out of community health workers services in Bungoma, Busia, Homabay, Kakamega, Kisii, Kisumu, Migori, Nyamira, Siaya and Vihiga counties. The findings were presented in an end-term evaluation of the Global Fund Malaria Project implemented through 16 sub-recipients from 2012 to 2017 with the objective of assessing and reducing conditions that lead to malaria related deaths.

Community health workers visit households to test for malaria, treat affected individuals and refer complicated cases and infected pregnant mothers to nearby health facilities. The respondents reported that the Community Case Management of Malaria had helped offload the burden from health facilities.

“Amref Health Africa is privileged to be the non-state recipient of the Global Fund Malaria grant. Through the project, we have reached many people in communities with malaria-related information and come up with interventions to strengthen health systems, especially at community level. This helps in advancing Kenya towards Universal Health Coverage,” said Amref Global Fund Malaria Project Manager Jared Oule.

The findings of the evaluation showed an increase of 34 per cent for respondents who seek treatment for malaria through community health workers’ services. Siaya County reported the highest number of people seeking treatment at 55 per cent followed by Homa Bay County with 45 per cent and Bungoma and Busia counties at 39 per cent each. The data was obtained through household survey of beneficiaries of the services.

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