The health of a community relies on the strength of the health system in place to meet its needs. While emergency measures can save lives, without investments in strong systems and community capacity, these efforts will not result in long-term, sustainable solutions. Through partnerships, training and advocacy, HealthRight programs build the capacity of local actors, including health workers, administrators and community members, while working to create lasting, locally-owned systems to ensure access to care and knowledge.
CASE STUDY: Community Members Saving Women’s Lives in Kenya
John, Northern Rift Valley of Kenya
For many years, John has worked to educate his community about the importance of safe childbirth and child nutrition practices. In 2009, he became the head of the local Community Health Committee, a network of Community Health Workers who volunteer to bring information and health services and serve as advocates for improvements in care. Community members like John are HealthRight’s key partners in building access to maternal and newborn care and malaria prevention and treatment for women and children in the region. For many communities, the nearest clinic is several days travel on foot, and a history of neglect and abuse on the part of the health system has led to a great deal of distrust. Yet, without access to these facilities, women and their children are at risk of death and disability. By training and mobilizing Community Health Workers to provide education and basic care to their communities, HealthRight’s partnerships in Kenya are bringing life-saving health care to communities who have for too long been without. And by working with local community members like John, we’ve ensured that the solution is both from and for the people of the Northern Rift Valley.