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Kenya: Nursing, Midwifery Can Benefit From The Community Health Worker Model - News - Nurses Arena Forum

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Kenya: Nursing, Midwifery Can Benefit From The Community Health Worker Model by katty : September 03, 2018, 01:03:45 PM
The role of nurses and midwives has primarily been centred on patient care, an approach to treatment and care that has proven critical in the evolution of medicine.

But how can healthcare institutions optimise that in the attainment of universal health coverage (UHC)?

The World Health Organization recommends 21.7 doctors for every 100,000 people and, for nurses, 228. In 2016, Kenya had 14 doctors and 42 nurses per 100,000 people.

And at the ratio of 6:10,000, the country is yet to meet its 7:10,000 health worker density target with the gap worse in primary health facilities than in tertiary care.

Sectoral challenges leading to the shortage of human resources include skill-mix imbalances, barriers to inter-professional collaboration, inefficient resource use, poor working conditions, skewed gender distribution and limited availability of health workforce data.


Additional training on soft skills is key in optimising the role of nurses and midwives to attain UHC as it cuts across the challenges and empowers the middle on ways to solve them.

Community health workers (CHWs) are driven by passion and a unique and personal investment in the wellbeing of the society. Their success is founded on trust that their households have in their skill level and their intentions. Whereas we can argue that CHWs fully depend on soft skills, the balance of authority to speak on the subject, verifiable training on the issue at hand and undoubted intentions for the community are vital in their work.

Embracing this model in the training of nurses and midwives and making them senior CHWs will lead to trust and better patient-centred care, especially in facilities run by nurses.
With maternal mortality still unacceptably high and newborn deaths forming such a high proportion of under-five mortality, the role of the nurse or midwife in averting these deaths is crucial. The achievements so far can be credited to the involvement of the CHWs. Their referral and follow-up system makes it easier to instill a new culture of proper health-seeking behaviour.


That will ensure attainment of Sustainable Development Goal 3 — Good Health and Wellbeing — and attainment of UHC.

The East, Central and Southern Africa College of Nursing (Ecsacon) Conference, being held in Nairobi from today to Friday, is a key event to discuss the role of the middle in attaining UHC. The underlying principles that led to the formation of Ecsacon, “A College Without Walls”, include harmonisation of nursing and midwifery standards and improvement of the professions within the ECSA region.

 Institutions that train frontline healthcare workers have to stand out in the conference and speak on the use of the CHW model within the scope of nursing and midwifery training.

Dr Joachim Osur, director of regional programmes and field offices, Amref Health Africa.

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