Fighting vices in society using technology
Kabiria Community Unit is one of the populous areas in Dagoretti Sub county, Nairobi County. Thousands of women of reproductive age are residents of Kabiria and a need has been felt for health education on maternal and child health. At times, they are faced with medical emergencies leading to stressful situations in the search for money to pay for medical bills. To meet this need, the Innovative Partnership for Universal Sustainable Healthcare (i-PUSH) was born through a partnership between Amref Health Africa and Pharmaccess Foundation. I-PUSH brings together three technologies: M-TIBA for saving for healthcare, M-JALI for data collection and Leap for training Community Health Workers (CHWs) on maternal and child health as well as other aspects relevant to promotion of health at household level. Armed with this knowledge, the trained CHWs have been able to provide health education to WRAs in Kabiria.
CHWs have also optimised all the features available on Leap to enable them better perform their role in the community. Meet Joyce Mwangi, a CHW in Kabiria CU, and a beneficiary of i-PUSH programme, tasked with helping one hundred households take charge of their health. “I love the group chat feature on Leap. This has helped us mobilise each other as CHWs in Kabiria to quickly address emergencies!” says Joyce joyfully. This was the case when they were able to rescue a young ten year old boy from child abuse meted out by his alcoholic mother.
Sadly, the mother used to beat him up mercilessly on a daily basis, even denying him food, until one night when a neighbour intervened. Word reached Joyce through group chat. Using her skill in handling gender based violence (GBV) cases, Joyce together with the other CHWs, was able to rescue the boy and raise the matter with the local administration. The boy is now safe in a child rescue centre. “I am happy with my new home!” says he, optimistic about the future.
Joyce is glad that her efforts are not in vain. She is always willing to help community members who are facing GBV cases. She also advises them accordingly so that they can face the future with a ray of hope. “I appreciate this new technology that is very useful to us as CHWs,” remarks Joyce cheerfully.
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