Patrick Malachi, a Community Health Volunteer based in Mashimoni Community Unit in Kibra is in charge of 102 households. He serves as the linkage between the community and the health facility.
Patrick's role entails: dissemination of health education to the community members, referring cholera patients to link facilities such as the Amref Kibra Community Health Centre, making follow ups on reported cases of diarrhea and hypertension. He also plays an active role in advocacy on rape cases which are rampant among the slum dwellers for obvious reasons which range from poverty to youth unemployment.
Patrick is also tasked with collection of data at household levels. This goes a long mile in acquainting the health stakeholders such as Amref Health Africa with the right health status of the community. He is keen to point out that Amref has really played a vital role in building the capacity of CHVs through training.
During the training conducted by Amref Health Africa through LEAP the mobile platform, he covered topics such as; maternal child health nutrition, cholera, family planning, hypertension, basic sanitation and child immunization in addition to integrated community case management which involves intervention of the patients at community level before referring them to various health link facilities.
Patrick has been trained on administering Oral Rehydration Salt before referring the patient to a health facility. According to WHO, cholera is an acute diarrhoeal infection caused by ingestion of food or water contaminated with the bacterium Vibrio cholerae. He was also trained on educating on personal hygiene and segregate anyone diagnosed with cholera to prevent its spread o those around them.
Initially, there was poor water piping and unkempt sewerage systems resulting to rapid spread of cholera. After the one-week training, this has changed since Patrick has been engaged in disseminating health information about cholra and distributing Aquatabs and water guards.
Patrick is on a mission to sensitise the landlords putting up new structures to ensure there is provision of adequate clean toilets. This is aimed at ensuring proper human waste disposal curbing the chances of cholera outbreak within the area. The community members have welcomed the sensitisation exercise wholeheartedly as is evident in the manner in which they approach the CHVs and ask questions.
“Your health is your responsibility. Your responsibility is to ensure you get clean water, you eat clean food, live in clean environment and take care of your neighbours”, says Patrick as his parting shot.
Written by Dinah Karwitha.