On 28-29 November 2018, IOM, the UN Migration Agency, continued working closely with the World Health Organization (WHO) as the health sector lead, and in partnership with the Kenya Red Cross Society (KRCS) to complete the final round of Community Health Workers (CHWs) training and community engagement on safe movement and travel in relation to health risks in Garissa Sub –County under the UN Central Emergency Response Fund (UN-CERF) flood response project. One day was dedicated to training and another to community engagement.
These activities contribute to the UN-CERF project objective on reduction of morbidity and mortality of 218,248 vulnerable children, pregnant and breastfeeding women, and men of 8 Counties (Tana River, Mandera, Garisa, Turkana, Isiolo, Baringo, Kilifi, and Kisumu counties) in Kenya affected by floods emergency and consequent disease epidemics. Cholera has the potential to kill within hours of disease onset without adequate knowledge and prompt treatment. The training aimed to build the core competencies and skills of CHWs on cholera prevention in their communities, engage community members to adapt health-seeking attitudes and behaviours, and strengthen community engagements in response to cholera in relation to movement and travel of individuals.
Topics in the training included cholera overview, social mobilization and community engagement, migration health and cholera. The training involved 50 CHWs (20 female, 30 male) in Garissa Sub-County at the Red Cross hall. The training session used interactive games, practical case studies and simulation exercises. Abdi Mohammed Halil, a community health care worker in Garissa Sub-County, expressed his gratitude to the UN-CERF project and, “for enlightening me on cholera prevention, treatment and control, but what I enjoyed the most was the videos shared on the role of community health care workers in cholera response. I feel confident sharing with my community the basic knowledge on cholera.”
The community engagements were conducted in Bula Rige, Bula Hagar, Bula Medina, Alfaruq and Livestock - these locations have a high population density and migratory flow. The trained CHWs ably communicated vital health information to the residents and educate them on various aspects of cholera transmission, prevention, and control, and basic treatment and linkages to travel. A total of 1,112 residents (563 female, 549 male) were informed on adopting cholera preventive behaviours, proper community sanitation and hygiene, prompt referral of sick patients to nearby health facilities.