The 2019 REGIONAL Global Health Practitioner Conference on October 14-16 in Nairobi, Kenya welcomed 253 implementers, academics, donors, private sector, and other community health advocates from over 21 countries representing over 108 organizations. GHPC Kenya was CORE Group’s first regional conference convening stakeholders under the following objectives:
- Leverage community voices and experiences of frontline health workers, community health workers, community nurses, and other service delivery providers to help identify the kinds and levels of services needed;
- Link individuals, organizations, governments, United Nations, donors, private sector, and many other key players both inside and outside the community towards addressing social determinants of health and ensuring everyone works together for improved health outcomes and breaking down silos; and
- Learn about best practices and innovative approaches in community health within national and local health systems, as well as consortium building and technical capacity building with strategic focus for improved community health.
The multi-day conference focused on enabling stakeholders to share progress and identify solutions to persistent community health challenges; strengthening the role of community health workers in line with the Sustainable Development Goals and Universal Health Coverage; and informing global, national and local policies and plans through evidence, success, and adaptive learning.
Program Booklet | Conference Report (upcoming!)
Collecting and Prioritizing Community Engagement Strategies and Interventions to Improve Global Health Security Planning
PRESENTERS: Hosted by CGPP Kenya, CGPP Ethiopia, CORE Group; with technical input from Bronwyn Nichol, International Federation of the Red Cross/Red Crescent; Naomi Nagauria, Kenya Red Cross Society; Theresa Jones, Anthrologica; Kathryn Bertram, Johns Hopkins University; Alison Yoos, IMPACT
The Global Health Security Agenda (GHSA) was launched in February 2014 to advance a world safe from infectious disease threats, to bring together nations from all over the world to make new, concrete commitments, and to elevate global health security as a national leaders-level priority. GHSA acknowledges the need for a multilateral and multi-sectoral approach to strengthen both the global capacity to prevent, detect, and respond to infectious disease to mitigate the devastating effects of Ebola, MERS, other highly pathogenic infectious diseases. Global health security is a shared responsibility. Its success depends upon collaboration among the health, security, environment and agriculture sectors.
Progress to advance nations’ global health security has been at a national level and focused squarely on the biomedical and epidemiological elements of a health system. Active participation by civil society and community health advocates and practitioners has not, until now, been perceived as a high priority. This session addressed this by convening CBOs alongside GHSA planners and policymakers to achieve objectives described above. Specifically, CBOs will be briefed on GHSA and called upon to draft recommendations and strategies linking GHSA planning with community-based programming.
How to (and not to do) Quality Improvement for Community Health
PRESENTERS: Lilian Otiso, LVCT Health; Robinson Karuga, LVCT Health; Regeru Regeru, LVCT Health; Linet
Okoth, LVCT Health; Meghan Kumar, Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine
This session built on two of the conference aims: leverage and learn. This session included various participatory and interactive approaches that have been used with success in our training workshops and learning events with community-level and sub-county level Quality Improvement Teams, county health managers and national health managers over the past three years to embed the use of these tools and approaches in their day-to-day work. Furthermore, leverage is encapsulated in the quality improvement approaches that will be discussed in that we will highlight that structures for quality improvement of community health services should extend from quality improvement structures at facility level and elsewhere in the community, for example: community health committees. This session advanced the overall conference theme by emphasizing that a key focus of quality improvement of community health services is lifting up community voices and working towards client satisfaction, and in this session they shared the first tool ever to systematically capture a demand-side perspective on the quality of community healthcare.
Understanding Stigma and Promoting Social Inclusion in the Community; Lessons from Uganda and Kenya
PRESENTERS: Michael Odong, John Snow, Inc.; Loice Maluki, Kuhenza for the Children Foundation
This training program was developed to help communities address the effects of stigma and social exclusion among various demographics in Uganda and as part of the USAID Regional Health Integration to Enhance Services-North, Lango (RHITES-N, Lango) program. Initial participatory research with community members, providers, people living with HIV and TB, and those who experienced GBV indicate that stigma is a major barrier to individuals accessing services. The training and community outreach tools, designed for community outreach agents, address stigma affecting people with HIV and TB, and those who have experienced GBV. The training curriculum is based on the guide Understanding and Challenging Stigma: A Tool Kit for Action developed in the late 1990s by the Academy for Education Development (AED) and the International Center for Research on Women (ICRW). Lessons from Kenya show the important role played by traditional healers, religious and government leaders in combatting disability related stigma. During the workshop, participants developed action plans that can guide them in replacing harmful cultural beliefs and practices with scientifically accurate information and appropriate care and referrals for children with disabilities.
Visit to “Maker Movement for MNCH” Space
Kenya Ministry of Health, UNICEF, Concern Worldwide
To address the acute shortage of essential MNCH equipment in Kenya, UNICEF and the Ministry of Health-Kenya with funding from the Philips Foundation partnered with Concern Worldwide, University of Nairobi, Kenyatta National Hospital, KEBS – Kenya Bureau of Standards and KIPI – Kenya Industrial property institute to implement the “Maker Movement for MNCH” (“Maker”). This concept originated from Concern’s Innovations for MNH program that was an eight-year initiative funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
Maker is an innovative partnership comprised of “Makers” or innovators from the University of Nairobi and clinicians and biomedical engineers from Kenyatta National Hospital. The project harnesses the creativity of “Makers”: an increasingly interconnected global community of inventors, tinkerers and do-it-yourselfers, often using newly available tools, equipment and technologies like electronics, robotics, and desk-top manufacturing. The aims is to leverage this community’s strengths — ingenuity, problem-solving, and democratized design and manufacturing to help overcome the obstacles of fully equipping points of care for quality MNCH service delivery. Participants visiting the Maker site had an opportunity to discuss and interact with the Makers, view first-hand what projects have been prototyped and are undergoing clinical testing, and have conversations on the process from conceptualization to production of locally made MNCH equipment.
Service Delivery Through the Continuum of Care
Kenya Ministry of Health & UNICEF
The site visit began at a health facility, at an MNCH clinic where the participants could observe basic primary health services provided to women and children. The participants then went into the community to converse with community health volunteers (CHVs) on the services they provide and the linkages they provide to the health facility. From there participants could visit a household with a pregnant women, a child under five, or newborn to discuss the services provided to them by CHVs.
Visit to Living Goods – – Thika Branch, Kiambu
Living Goods aims to save lives at scale by supporting digitally-empowered community health workers. They work with governments and partners to leverage smart mobile technology, rigorously strengthen performance, and relentlessly innovate to cost-effectively deliver high quality, impactful health services. Since 2015, Living Goods has worked closely with Kenya’s Ministry of Health (MOH) and county-level governments to strengthen the health system by recruiting, training, and supporting a network of community health workers (CHWs), known locally as Community Health Volunteers (CHVs). The Six key Elements that define their approach and drives impact in Thika includes:- Ensuring availability of Empowered Community Health Workers to Deliver On-Demand in Thika, Collaborating with the County team to Achieve National Impact, Employing Rigorous Performance Management and Smart Incentives, Leveraging on Disruptive Mobile Technology, Having an Integrated Platform that avoids Inefficiencies of Single-Issue Health Strategies, and Ensuring Access to Life-Saving Drug. The branch supports a total of 10 Community Units and 85 Active Community Health Volunteers in Thika.