Challenges and Opportunities for promoting Maternal, New born, and Child Health in urban informal settlements: perspectives of Community Health Volunteers in Nairobi, Kenya
AbstractAcross the world, Community Health Volunteers (CHVs) are recognised as first line health care providers. Overtime, the Kenyan government has acknowledged CHVs as an integral component in provision of first line health care services at the community level. This paper uses data from four group discussions with CHVs and two key informant interviews with sub-County Community Strategy Coordinators to examine the lived experiences of CHVs. The findings show that meaningful engagement of CHVs is hampered by lack of logistical support, recognition, insecurity, and inadequate resources. Despite the bottlenecks, voluntarism is their greatest driving force. They noted that their work could be enhanced through logistical support from the government involving training, provision of equipment, remuneration and recognition in the community. The findings suggest that there is need for close coordination between the national government and the community units for CHVs to contribute to improved health outcomes at the local level
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