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.
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.
“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.