At least 6,250 community health volunteers in Nairobi will from next month receive Sh3,000 as monthly stipend as well as Sh500 in health insurance, after waiting for more than two years.
This will see the monthly stipend for the community health volunteers increased from the current Sh1, 300 to Sh3, 000.
To achieve this, City Hall allocated Sh308 million towards rolling out of the stipend and National Health Insurance Fund (NHIF) cover for the health volunteers.
As part of the allocation, Sh100 million will be used for initial payment of the community health volunteers in the coming financial year starting Thursday.
Nairobi County has a total of 6, 250 community health workers who work in the more than 1, 000 health centres across all the 85 wards in the capital city.
In June, 2019, City Hall announced that the health volunteers were to get at least Sh500 per month for the NHIF cover while the monthly stipend was to be increased from the current Sh1, 300 to Sh3, 000.
Nairobi County Assembly Budget and Appropriations committee chairperson Mr Robert Mbatia said the programme was to be rolled out in 2019 but had to be pushed back because of budget constraints with only Sh100 million instead of the requested Sh300 million being budgeted for.
“A total allocation of Sh308 million for community health volunteers to be paid Sh3,000 per month and a further Sh500 for health insurance,” said Mr Mbatia.
Community health volunteers engage in tracing and referral of health-related cases to the nearest health facilities, conducting home visits to determine health situation, promoting appropriate home care for the sick with the support of health partners and mobilising community members to adopt health promotion practices, among others.
He explained that the allocation will be dedicated to implementing the Nairobi City County Community Health Services Act, 2019.
The Act compels the Nairobi Metropolitan Services (NMS) and City Hall to make arrangements for the training and certification of the volunteers using an approved curriculum, as it seeks to streamline the operation of the community health volunteers in the county.
A brainchild of Zimmerman MCA Pius Mbono, the law compels the city-county to get medical cover as well as train and issue certification to community health volunteers.
This is as well as embracing the health volunteers by recognising them as county health workers as well as registering them so as to improve their welfare.
This is in addition to calling for the county to ensure protection of health and safety of all community health volunteers and community health services personnel in the county as well as the creation of necessary institutional and coordination framework to encourage and facilitate voluntary provision of community health care services.
“We want a law to compel the county government to engage the volunteers as their own and use them to reach the grassroots,” said Mr Mbono.