Following the COVID 19 outbreak, the Benjamin Mkapa Foundation (BMF) has recruited 620  CHWs for working at the community level in combating COVID 19 in Dar es Salaam. During the orientation training of COVID 19 for the recruited CHWs that was conducted on 14th May 2020 in Temeke Dar es Salaam, the BMF CEO, Dr. Ellen Mkondya explained that BMF recognizes the various ongoing efforts of educating the community about COVID 19  through health professionals and mass media but more interventions are required to reach many people.

“In collaboration with the Ministry of Health we have been able to secure funding from UNICEF and the Irish Aid from the Irish embassy to recruit 620 community health workers,” said Dr. Ellen.

Chief Executive Officer of the Benjamin Mkapa Foundation (BMF), Dr. Ellen Senkoro speaking during the training event of community health workers that took place at Basasila ‘B’ Temeke high school in Dar es Salaam yesterday.

She added, that the training that was conducted aimed at equipping CHWs with skills to provide accurate COVID 19 health education to the surrounding community, surveillance and provide appropriate counseling to the suspects as well as conducting close monitoring of patients at home.

“To date, the BMF in collaboration with the MoHCDGEC and Regional, District Health Committees of Dar es Salaam has provided COVID training to 166 health officers who have been also involved in providing such training to 462 CHWs from Ubungo, Ilala, Kigamboni and Kinondoni, today being a last day of training in Temeke district where 158 CHWs have been reached,” Said Dr. Ellen

In attendance was also Minister of Health, Social Development, Gender, Elderly and Children – Ummy Mwalimu (Mp). She commended that in the fight against COVID19, the Government recognizes the role of Community Health Workers, who will be directly involved in the fight against COVID 19 particularly in their roles of contact tracing and accurate knowledge on how to prevent or protect the community from Corona disease.

Minister of Health, Social Development, Gender, Elderly and Children – Ummy Mwalimu (Mp) handing over the working tools to one of the Community Health Workers, Ramlat Omary during a training session on the COVID 19 community surveillance, contact tracing, and health education, that was held at Temeke District in Dar-es-salaam.

“We launched the Community Health Based Implementation plan on April 17 this year, today I am pleased to see that we have begun implementing the Government plan by deploying Community health workers to the entire health care delivery system.” Said Minister of Health – Ummy Mwalimu

Generally, a total of 620 CHWs have been trained and provided with working tools such as rain boots, raincoats, umbrellas, masks, gloves, T-shirts, and bags to enhance their work performance. BMF will continue to cooperate with MoHCDGEC, PO-RALG, and other development partners in promoting positive behavior changes and improve public health in general.

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Mkapa Foundation Kicks Off the Community Health Intervention for COVID-19 Response in Dar es Salaam.

A Health Officer (Ilala Municipal) asking a question during the Health Officers Orientation held at Jamhuri Secondary School in Dar es salaam

The Benjamin William Mkapa Foundation (BMF) in collaboration with the Ministry of Health, Community Development, Gender, Elderly, and Children (MOHCDGEC) with financial support from UNICEF has kicked off the implementation of COVID-19 community response in Dar es Salaam Region on 6th May 2020 focusing on community surveillance, contact tracing, and health education.

Speaking during the orientation of health Officers that took place within their respective councils, Dr. Happiness Willbroad – BMF Program Manager for Community and Social Welfare said Health Officers have been engaged as Trainer of Trainers (TOTs) to train Community Health Workers (CHWs) at the wards level, who soon expected to be sub-contracted to reach the communities at their respective streets. 

“This intervention focuses on strengthening the supervisory structure and implementation of COVID-19 community response interventions using CHWs and Community Volunteers for community surveillance, contact tracing, and health education in Dar-es-salaam.” She added

A total of 166 Health Officers from Ilala, Kinondoni, Temeke, Ubungo, and Kigamboni Councils were trained at that first stage of community health intervention implementation. In attendance were also MoHCGEC, Regional, and District Health Management Teams.

Health Officers who have received training acknowledged that the training will enhance their capacity to facilitate the implementation of community health interventions against COVID-19.

“This kind of training will enable us to manage community health workers at the community level, not only to supervise but also to train them on their wellbeing so that they continue giving health education to the community. CHWs have the most support as they are closest to the community.” Said Mr. Nsajigwa Emmanuel Mwakyusa – Health Officer from Kurasini Ward -Temeke Municipal Council.

The intervention is expected to cover 565 streets within 106 wards allocated within five municipal councils of the Dar es Salaam region.

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