A health revolution unleashed: PATH Kenya commends Kenya's 100,000 kitted health promoters

October 25, 2023 by Ruth Wanjala and Sintha Chiumia

PATH applauds the Kenyan Ministry of Health for successfully training and deploying 248 Primary Care Network master trainers to all 47 counties in the country. This is a significant step toward revitalizing primary health care services and achieving universal health coverage (UHC).

Community Health Promoters (CHPs) with their newly launched kits. Credit: MoH Kenya

Community Health Promoters (CHPs) with their newly launched kits. Photo: MoH Kenya

To celebrate Kenya’s latest efforts in moving the universal health coverage (UHC) and primary health care (PHC) agendas forward, PATH joined the Kenyan government, health partners, and donors at an event on September 25, 2023, at which President William Ruto flagged off the commissioning of 100,000 fully kitted CHPs. The CHPs will be equipped with modern medical equipment and deployed in communities across the country.

Carolyne Njuguna, Director of PATH’s East Africa Hub and the PATH Kenya Country Director, applauded President Ruto and the Ministry of Health leadership for recognizing the essential role of CHPs:

“It was incredible to witness the bold commitments from the highest office in Kenya to ensure our CHPs are well kitted, connected, and remunerated. CHPs play a critical role in our health systems and are a strong pillar in the achievement of PHC and UHC. The kits will empower the CHPs to enhance access to PHC and promote healthier communities, families, and children.”

“PATH Kenya remains committed to supporting government health priorities and will continue working closely with the Ministry of Health in the UHC rollout in Kenya.”
— Carolyne Njuguna, East Africa Hub and the PATH Kenya Country Director

A week earlier PATH Kenya had joined Kenya’s Ministry of Health in a training of trainers program, in which 248 master trainers were trained and commissioned to lead the establishment of Primary Health Networks (PCNs) across all 47 counties in Kenya. The commissioning was led by Principal Secretary Mary Muthoni of the State Department for Public Health and Professional Standards.

According to Melissa Wanda, Advocacy and Policy manager at PATH, “PATH Kenya is happy to be working with the government at both national and county levels to enhance health equity through equitable policies and strategies for effective implementation of PHC in the country. We are grateful to have supported the training of the master trainers, who will take lead in accelerating the rollout of PCNs in the counties.”

The 248 master trainers will be deployed across all 47 counties in Kenya. Each county’s training of trainers team has at least three representatives, including a family physician, community health services coordinator, and PHC coordinator. Among the officers, 80 are from the national-level Ministry of Health and are expected to support rollout of the PCNs to ensure standardization and quality control. The plan is to establish at least one model PCN in each county by October 20 and then subsequently scale up to 315 PCNs (one per subcounty) or more.

Kenyan President William Ruto (right seated) during the commissioning ceremony for the recently trained Primary Care Network master trainers.

Kenyan President William Ruto (right seated) during the commissioning ceremony for the recently trained Primary Care Network master trainers. Photo: MoH Kenya.

PATH works with national and subnational governments to strengthen PHC through a multidisciplinary, person-centered approach that improves health and well-being for all people (read more about that here). In Kenya, this aligns with the government’s efforts toward revitalizing PHC services to achieve UHC, as recommended in the Kenya Primary Health Care Strategic Framework 2019–2024 under the Bottom Up Economic Transformation Agenda health care plan, dubbed #AfyaBoraMashinani (which translates to "Quality Health Services at the Grassroots”).

“The PCN model is a sure pathway to advancing health equity by enhancing the delivery of [high-]quality, well-coordinated, and integrated PHC services for all people.”
— Rachel Ndirangu, Project Director for Advocacy and Public Policy

The training of trainers, which took place at Lake Naivasha Resort from September 15 to 18, was organized by the Kenya government, in collaboration with county governments and Development Partners for Health in Kenya constituency members, including PATH Kenya, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the US Agency for International Development, UNICEF, and World Health Organization.