Rwanda’s Community health workers who played an important role when it comes to primary health care delivery, are being engaged in the COVID–19 treatment process,an official source revealed Saturday in Kigali.Community health workers are members of a community chosen by members or organisations to provide basic medical care, and are capable of providing preventive and rehabilitation care.
Currently, Rwanda has more than 60,000 community health workers nationwide and are decentralized at the village level, official reports said.
According to the Director General of Rwanda Biomedical Centre (RBC) Dr Sabin Nsanzimana, the involvement and mobilisation of CHWs in this fight will significantly bolster the fight against the virus in communities, largely due to the decentralized nature of their reach.
“We are now going to decentralize some of the coronavirus treatment services and they will be carried out by community health workers,” the senior Rwandan health official said.
Thanks to the mobilisation of Community Health workers, 83 per cent of health conditions in the country are treated at the primary healthcare level, it said.
Data from the Ministry of Health shows that this initiative started with 12,000 CHWs as a pilot programme in 1995. However, after positive results, it was scaled up to 60,000 CHWs today, of whom 65% are women.
Among other roles played by CHWs include monitoring child’s growth, following up on the life of the mother and new-born to tackle preventable deaths, as well as providing family planning services to people in their respective locations.
As of Saturday, Rwanda reported 19 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 bringing the total cases to 1,729.
The tiny East African country has currently 824 active cases, 900 people have recovered from the disease while five people have passed on.