At least 50,000 public health care workers dealing with COVID-19 patients are set to be trained on case management, application and use of Personal Protective Equipment (PPES) and psychosocial support to help them cope with the daily challenges occasioned by their service in the fight against COVID-19 in the country.

The initiative has been financed by the Kenya COVID-19 Fund and Equity Group Foundation (EGF) and will be implemented by the Kenya Medical Association (KMA). The training program was launched on Friday at the National Nurses Association Offices at Kenyatta National Hospital.

Since the outbreak of Covid-19 pandemic, healthcare workers have been at the front line in the fight against this disease. This makes them be at an increased risk of moral injury and mental health problems when dealing with challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Kenya COVID-19 Fund and Equity Group Foundation has partnered with Kenya Medical Association to train 50,000 health workers across the country on case management and psychosocial support, through a coalition of professional medical associations.This year-long intervention will ensure that healthcare workers across the country are well equipped to serve in the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The initiative has been financed by the Kenya COVID-19 Fund and Equity Group Foundation (EGF) at a cost of Kshs 85 million. Kenya Medical Association (KMA) will implement the program together with the National Nurses Association of Kenya (NNAK), Kenya Medical Practitioners, Pharmacists and Dentists’ Union (KMPDU), Kenya Psychiatric Association & Clinical Psychologists’ Association of Kenya.

Other Associations that are part of this initiative include the Pharmaceutical Society of Kenya, Kenya Clinical Officers’ Association (KCOA), Kenya Pharmaceutical Association and other healthcare professional associations.

Speaking during the event, KMA president Jacqueline Kitulu said majority of public hospitals in Kenya are strained in handling COVID-19 cases. While Alfred Obengo, Chairman of the National Nurses Association pointed out that in the course of delivering much needed services, healthcare workers are exposed to both physical and emotional challenges posing a threat to their welfare and thus the health care system.

Dr. James Mwangi, Executive Chairman of Equity Group Foundation who also chairs the Health Committee of the Kenya COVID-19 Fund Board acknowledged the great work health workers are doing.

To further support and strengthen the health system and frontline healthcare workers in adequately mitigating COVID-19, the coalition will be following Ministry of Health guidelines developed together with the COVID-19 Case Management Training Program to ensure that this training is cascaded to all counties in the country.