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Psychologist hails Gov. Wamatangi's assimilation of Community Health Volunteers

Renown psychologist and community health champion Gladys Chania has hailed Kiambu Governor Kimani Wamatangi move to assimilate Community health volunteers into the county health management teams.

In a post on her Facebook Page, Chania said the governor promise to give allowance stipends to the volunteers was a good motivation to these volunteers who played a very critical role in community health.

"Community Health Volunteers are lay members of the community who work either for pay or as volunteers in association with the local health care system in both urban and rural environments. CHVs as popularly known usually share ethnicity, language, socio-economic status and life experiences with the community members they serve, (CHVs typically serve where they live). They are frontline agents of change, helping to reduce health disparities in underserved communities," she wrote.

She added that this made it easier for them to understand the needs of the community as front liners, speak on their behalf and mediate for them too.

"They receive trainings on health problems they engage with. These people, if we'll utilized, have the potential to supplement the formal health system in the struggle to achieve UHC in low and middle income areas. In some cases, they are able to provide preventive, promotive and curative health services just as formal health workers and at times better," she said.

Echoing the Governor Wamatangi words, Chania said that the CHVs needed in-service training, financial incentives, infrastructural support, supplies, appropriate monitoring, regular supportive supervision and evaluation.

"Integration of CHV programmes into the formal healthcare system is also an agent of success. Let's define their role as a county, avoid too many vertical programmes which normally are a hindrance to success of volunteer-led health programmes."

Chania also noted that this success required careful implementation, strong policy backing and continual support by their managers.

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