By Raymond Obare, Communications and Relationship Officer, HBCC Project
After successful Mum’s Magic Hands (MMH) trainings for Public Health Officers in Embu and Meru Counties, the Health Behaviour Change Communication (HBCC) teams headed to Kisii and Migori, where they equipped Community Health Workers (CHWs) with knowledge about Coronavirus to enable them pass the right information to households.
Designed to encourage hand washing with soap at key times to prevent the spread of diseases, MMH seeks to understand the emotional motivators and barriers to hand washing in emergency contexts, with the aim of developing a behaviour change programme that could be used in any emergency context. Captured in a storyboard, the training sessions describe for the attendees, how mothers’ hands can shape the lives of their families.
The Amref Health Africa Behaviour Change Communication (HBCC) team uses MMH to impart COVID-19 related knowledge and skills to trainers of trainers, who are mostly CHWs as part of the continuous efforts to reinforce behaviour change at community level.
Moses Lengewa, a Behaviour Change and Social Impact expert from Amref Health Africa said: “These sessions have allowed us to scale the communication much faster as our trainees then cascade the trainings within their communities.’’
He added the success of this program is also largely due to the support of the county health officials. In each county, the Project works very closely with the County Health Management teams and the synergies created are powering the success of the interventions and helping both the county governments and CHWs win the war against COVID-19.
“Indeed, collaborative working as opposed to working in silos has proved to be a winning formula,” said Liza Kiambi who represented the Migori County Director of Public Health during the trainings. ‘‘We leverage on our different strengths while also learning from each other, allowing us and the respective partners to expedite progress and maximise desired results around proposed interventions.’’
During the sessions in Kisii and Migori, over 1500 CHWs were trained and they are expected to play an instrumental role in cascading hand washing knowledge, other COVID-19 interventions and ensuring the curve remains flat.
From Kisii and Migori, the teams will head to Homa Bay and Siaya to engage with CHWs in these counties.