April 4th, 2018
Antonera Lepesha is a Community Health Volunteer (CHV) from Tritop in Samburu County. After being trained by Amref Health Africa through the Uzazi Salama project, Antonera has taken lead in executing health strategies in her community. Her roles include taking care of patients in her village, giving referrals, and also facilitating patients’ transportation to health facilities.
“I am happy I can now help my community. The training done by Amref Health Africa has empowered me with the skill and knowledge to serve my people better,” she explains.
Antonera appreciates the mLearning platform, used by the Uzazi Salama team, which has gone a long way in simplifying her work. “We have been taken through ample training on the mLearning platform. We even take tests to measure how much we have understood of our roles as CHV,” states Antonera. The platform has also made it easier for CHVs in the region to store and disseminate information they get from the different households they represent. “We send the data directly to the Community Health Extension Workers,” confirms Antonera.
Through her work, Antonera interacts with different people in her community. She has made it her duty to empower fellow women with the knowledge she received from the training. Towards this end, Antonera gives frequent talks on a number of health matters ranging from sanitation to mother and child health.
Antonera admits to witnessing significant changes in the area since the launch of the Uzazi Salama project. To her, more women now visit health facilities as compared to the past and the role of the Traditional Birth Assistants (TBAs) has been diminished.
“I am proud of the progress that we have made so far, especially when it comes to antenatal health visits by pregnant mothers. They even come to deliver at the health facilities now. The baby packs have proved to be a great motivation,” she noted.
“Uzazi Salama has also provided us with bicycles that help us navigate easily, and get to patients much faster. I can now visit more households in a day as compared to before when I had to walk to get to my patients,” she observes.
Though Antonera faces some challenges in her line of work, she stays motivated as her desire to put her community first and ensure that she improves their quality of life is stronger than the shortcomings she experiences.