Turkana West, Turkana Central, and Turkana South Sub-Counties have finalised the formation of COVID-19 home-based care teams after completing a two-day HBC training of health care workers in Kakuma, Lodwar, and Lokichar respectively.
The acting County Disease Surveillance Coordinator, Robert Rotich, who is also the SCMOH for Turkana West, said the teams are expected to spearhead the implementation of COVID-19 latest management strategy which provides for HBC guidelines at home as opposed to institutional care.
“The upsurge in cases has overwhelmed health facilities across the country and the spike in Turkana is not an exception hence the need to enhance the strategy immediately for the management of mild and moderately ill asymptomatic cases,” said Rotich.
He added that home-based isolation and care of confirmed COVID-19 patients was approved by the World Health Organisation(WHO) and ratified in Kenya through a 22-paged publication by the National Ministry of Health in June 2020.
The IRC-supported training exposed the teams to knowledge and skills with respect to eligibility criteria, assessment of home-based isolation spaces, procedures for HBC as well as referral process if the case deteriorated.
While explaining the input of IRC in the entire process, Joshua Rutto, the CGPP program manager, said that the organisation has also supported information dissemination through radio spots, production of IEC materials, procurement of PPEs, ICU support, and surveillance strengthening.
Rutto added that the choice of three sub-counties for the HBC training was prompted by the escalating cases as compared to other sub-counties.
Rutto also confirmed that the trainees included Public Health officers, clinicians, nurses, medical specialists, and ambulance drivers as proposed in the HBC national protocol released in June 2020.
It is expected that a similar training, through the support of county government and subsequent formation of HBC teams, will take place in the remaining sub-counties in due course.