Blog written by Joyce Wangoi, Public Health Coordinator
In every phase of development, growth is expected, and Hope Core’s Public Health Department has not been any different. Over the last few months, the Public Health Department has experienced increased development both in staffing and programming. Initially, in 2009, our programs consisted of our senior nurse and a community health worker who often accompanied our Microenterprise Department to attend to loan clients during loan collection visits and to offer health services. Over the past 6 years, our programs have since expanded from mobile clinics to other engaging and exciting programs.
Human Resource Developments
The Public Health Department has grown significantly over the last six months, from a staff comprised of 8 to now having 14 members. This means that more people are reached with our services, coinciding with our organization’s mission of transforming lives through health education and promotion.
Programmatic Developments & New Activities
With pilots in November and December 2014 this program launched in March 2015. Here, mothers from local communities are invited to nearby community schools to come for health education and clinical services. The services include, but are not limited to, health education for mothers, clinical services, growth monitoring for their children, and family planning services to mothers. So far we have conducted clinics in 48 schools, some multiple times, and we hope to expand to include all the schools in the sub-county in 2016.
New ideas are welcomed to try out in different areas to make it as exciting, engaging and as beneficial as possible to the mothers and the community members at large. We have tried several prototypes and this has motivated the staff since there ideas are tried out without necessarily having them work out positively but making everyone feel part of the team.
This idea is another innovative service that we have recently initiated. After realizing that many within our community need information and consultation services, and recognizing that some households are located in very rural and hard-to-reach locations, the health hotline service was developed. Our able clinical team can now reach homes for health advice and consultation 24/7. Following its initiation, the team has been receiving many calls for assistance on various medical issues and follow-up visits and/or appointments, especially from mothers.
Market outreach events
This is another outreach activity that was recently started, and we plan to continue to expand this outreach program. At the local Chogoria town market, we set up a table to advertise our services, as well as set up a separate tent for health services. These events very successful; the number of people that were reached at the market outreach with our services was much higher than what we expected. People came out in large numbers for HIV testing, blood glucose testing and blood pressure testing.
Our Managing Director refers to the team as ‘the life savers’, and the Public Health Department will continue to focus on our goal of the reduction of disease burden through health education and through curative health services.
As our Department continues to expand and grow, we are more excited than ever to see what the future holds and the positive change it will bring to our community. Stay tuned!