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Communication is Critical!

Jambo!  (Hello!)  Since the beginning of May 2013, IntraHealth International Kenya has welcomed and fully integrated me into their Capacity Kenya Project (CKP) team.  Although it’s only been a couple of weeks, I am acclimating well and am excited about what this experience will bring.  Each day has been different and I’m even challenging myself to learn Swahili.  Kuwa na siku njema! (Have a good day!) 

As part of the CKP, my current focus is assisting the monitoring and evaluation team to identify opportunities and document successes of the 5-year project.  In 2009, IntraHealth’s CKP was initiated to strengthen Human Resources for Health (HRH) systems of the public, faith-based, and private health sectors to improve the delivery of primary health care at the community level.  The CKP is USAID funded project with three distinct intermediate results (IR).  These are:

  • IR1 – Strengthened and institutionalized HRH strategies, plans, policies, and practices at national and county levels that will enable an increase in the number of health workers and promote the provision of quality HIV/AIDS, Family Practice/Reproductive Health, maternal and child health, malaria, and tuberculosis services at the community level.
  • IR2 – Improved opportunities for addressing the knowledge and skills needed by workers at all levels, including the provision of quality services at the community level.
  • IR3 – Workforce performance systems in place to improve productivity and retention for the delivery of HIV/AIDS, FP/RH, MCH, malaria, and TB services.    

IntraHealth is a U.S. based nonprofit organization that has served public health needs in developing countries for over 30 years.  Its mission is to create sustainable, accessible healthcare services by supporting health workers and strengthening healthcare systems.  IntraHealth Kenya is based in Westlands Nairobi, which is also where my apartment is located, so I am very close to work.  Over the past couple of weeks; I have been familiarizing myself with team members and the current status of the CKP.  Recently, I have been reviewing and finalizing documentation for each project objective.  This involves extensive communication with each IR Team Lead and their respective team members.  To assist in the documentation process, my colleague, Wycliffe Omanya, and I conducted a written communication and editing session for the Capacity Kenya Project team.  This session was an open dialogue format and addressed questions the team had regarding the documentation and editing process.  Our team goal is to communicate the CKP successes and lessons over the past few years as well as its implication for Kenya’s health sector going forward.  Next time, I look forward to sharing my visit to the Ministry of Health (MOH) and the opportunity that exists for the CKP to collaborate in the new decentralized health system.  Under the new constitution, the former 8 Kenya provinces were decentralized, or subdivided, into 47 counties.  In response, the MOH is also deliberately decentralizing its efforts to strengthen health care management, improve resource allocation, and increase decision making at the county level.  This presents a great opportunity to sustain the efforts of the CKP.  Until then kwaheri (goodbye)!