Use of community health volunteers to increase coverage for integrated community case management in Bondo, Kenya

Colleagues[1] from John Snow, Inc. and Jhpiego are presenting presenting a poster at the American Society of Tropical Medicine 64th Annual Meeting Wednesday 28 October 2015. Visit Poster 1330. Below is a summary of their findings.

iccm kenyaBondo County is located in the Western region of Kenya. It has an IMR of 110 and an U5MR of 208 per 1,000 live births which is thrice the national U5MR of 74/1000. There continues to be limited access to and use of health services in some rural areas that are underserved by health facilities. This provided the impetus for advocating for the implementation of integrated Community Case Management (iCCM) as a way to address these health disparities.

An 18-month study is underway in Bondo to test whether community health volunteers (CHVs) can effectively deliver an iCCM package in the context of the existing community health strategy platform. The study is a quasi-experimental design with intervention and comparison groups of four community units each. Fifty-eight intervention group CHVs were trained on iCCM and health promotion, provided with iCCM commodities, and a monthly stipend of $23.

Kenya-CHW MCSP, USAIDIn the comparison group CHVs were only trained in health promotion and receive a similar stipend. Baseline survey was done in October 2013 and midline in July 2014; the latter was limited to the intervention group only.

An endline survey is planned for June 2015. Overall introduction of iCCM resulted in over 100% increase in iCCM cases managed from baseline compared to midline (2,367 vs. 4,868), with the CHVs’ share being 56%.

In terms of performance, the CHVs demonstrated good ability to follow the iCCM algorithm from the identification of signs to the classification of illness, and deciding whether to treat at home or refer to the health facility. The greatest improvement was in the ability to examine or “look” for signs of illness (average of 3% at baseline vs. 74% at midline), p <0.05.

Key stakeholders reported that there were various benefits of iCCM in Bondo such as improved access to health services, improved health behaviors at individual and community level, community empowerment, and increased trust of the CHVs by the community. Based on these results so far, CHVs can effectively provide iCCM services and thus contribute to reducing childhood morbidity deaths in Bondo, Kenya

[1] Savitha Subramanian, Mark Kabue, Dyness Kasungami, Makeba Shiroya-Wadambwa, Dan James Otieno, Charles Waka

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