First Lady Margaret Kenyatta has commended community health workers for the frontline role they play in combating the COVID-19 pandemic.
The First Lady pointed out that community education on health matters can save lives and it is critical especially at this time of the Coronavirus crisis.
“I applaud your selfless commitment to your work and your courage and compassion for people and for the community. I acknowledge the sacrifice you give of your time towards the demanding role of being community health workers,” the First Lady told community health volunteers.
The First Lady spoke Tuesday when she presided over the virtual graduation of the first cohort of the 5100 community health volunteers who have completed a one-month training on COVID-19 response sponsored by the Beyond Zero initiative at a cost of Kshs 4.5 million.
The community health volunteers training curriculum developed by the Ministry of Health was delivered virtually by the African Medical and Research Foundation (AMREF) through a digital learning platform called “Leap mhealth”.
The First Lady expressed optimism that the training the community health volunteers received will ramp up their contribution to the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Through the COVID-19 curriculum and guide developed by the Ministry of Health, you are now empowered and equipped with knowledge, skills and competence to protect yourselves, your families and the community,” the First Lady told the community health workers.
Congratulating the community health volunteers for successfully completing the training, the First Lady assured them of her support.
“The work you are doing is for all of us and we thank you from the bottom of our hearts. I just want to say how proud I am with each and every one of you. Please continue with this work because we need you,” she praised the community health volunteers.
First Lady Margaret Kenyatta, at the same time, spoke against the stigmatization of individuals and families affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
She emphasized that those affected by the global pandemic should be offered compassion and comfort instead of discrimination.
“We are all affected and we will require all of us to support each other in any way we can to ease the disruption this pandemic has caused to our lives,” the First Lady said.
The First Lady noted that the support to families and communities has now become more urgent than ever before given the fact that jobs have been lost and household resources stretched beyond limits.
She encouraged all Kenyans to play their part in curbing the spread of the Coronavirus by strictly observing the Ministry of health guidelines that include washing hands with soap, wearing masks and social distancing.
“We have learnt that more effort will be required from all of us to eliminate the risks that make us more vulnerable, especially amongst the elderly and those facing other multiple health issues like heart disease, diabetes and cancer,” the First Lady said.
The First Lady also acknowledged the role and bravery of all frontline health workers in the fight against the pandemic.
“You have been actively involved in contributing towards national efforts in tackling health issues facing communities. Your work keeps us safe especially during this pandemic,” the First Lady said.
Other speakers included Nairobi Metropolitan Services Director of Health Dr Josephine Kibaru and AMREF Enterprise CEO Caroline Mbindyo.
Dr Kibaru and Ms Mbindyo applauded the partnership between Beyond Zero, Nairobi Metropolitan Services and AMREF in training community health workers to help in the fight against the spread of Coronavirus.