Journal of Social Sciences and Humanities
Articles Information
Journal of Social Sciences and Humanities, Vol.1, No.4, Sep. 2015, Pub. Date: Jun. 17, 2015
The Application of a Community College Model in Recruiting Community Health Workforce in Western Kenya
Pages: 297-307 Views: 1573 Downloads: 738
Authors
[01] M. Kaseje, Great Lakes University of Kisumu, Faculty of Arts and Sciences, Kisumu, Kenya.
Abstract
Background: Community Health Volunteers (CHVs), also known as Community Health Workers (CHWs) though not considered as part of the mainstream health workforce play a major role in reaching households with health information and linking them to health facilities. Training provided to this health workforce equips them with relevant skills and knowledge. However the training varies in content, mode of delivery and duration and lacks accreditation and career development. This study assessed the initial results of a two-year Community College training Model consisting of short modular, in-service, work-based training developed by Great Lakes University of Kisumu (GLUK). The training aimed at strengthening the capacities of CHVs for effective community level service delivery and providing a career path and increased numbers of skilled personnel for household level health uptake. Methods: A qualitative approach was used to assess outcomes of the Community College Model initiated in January 2013 and offered to CHVs working in 5 sites in Western Kenya. Focus group discussions with trainee groups were analyzed for thematic content, while trend analysis was carried out on class attendance and continuous assessment tests offered to trainees. Results: From the initial enrollment of 173 trainees, a total of 169 (98%) continued with the program and were consistent in their attendance and completion of practical work during the first semester of instruction (January to March 2013). Trainees’ performance indicated success with over 60% scoring 40% (pass mark) and above in the taught units. Trainees voiced appreciation for the Community College Model as having brought academic and practical learning in their vicinity while enabling them to improve on their household visits for health promotion and referrals of those needing health facility care. Conclusions and recommendations: Indications are that the modular, work-based Community College Model strengthens the capacity of the community level health workforce through hands-on, real-life experiences and illustrates a practical example of health systems strengthening. The Model may also contribute to motivation and retention of the community level health workforce. Further documentation and analysis should be carried out to determine the effectiveness and impact of the Community College Model in enhancing CHV skills, career progression and household health outcomes.
Keywords
Community Health Workers, Community College, Competence Training, Curriculum, Community Volunteers, Health Workforce, Health Systems
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