Training of health workers is great, but SO WHAT? - The ripple effect of training frontline health care workers in Asthma care

The Ministry of health (MOH) indicates that 10% of the population in Kenyan have Asthma. Asthma, is not clearly classified in the MOH registers and hence the data is scanty. Frontline health workers have challenges in distinguishing asthma from other obstructive airway and respiratory illness. This poses a clinical challenge for diagnosis, treatment and clinical audits. Amref Health Africa in partnership with GSK, trained health workers on diagnosis, management and control of Asthma towards quality management. A blended training approach of face to face and e & m-Learning was used to train health workers on effective management of Asthma. End term evaluation was conducted to find out the effect of these trainings. Quantitative data was analyzed by descriptive statistics and bivariate analysis techniques using SPSS V.20 and qualitative data analyzed using NVivo 11. A total of 2613 health workers were trained. In 2018, 23,884 Asthma patients were put on treatment. Clinical mentorship and continuous medical education was intensified post the evaluation with 28,056 new cases put on treatment. The health facility with appropriate Asthma management equipment and commodities increased from 24.7% to 37%. There was reduced hospitalization and 97% of patients were on appropriate inhaler controlled treatment. Adherence to treatment improved from 52% to 77% and community awareness of Asthma signs improved from 25.5% to 92.2% with 88% aware of at least 3 triggers. Therefore, training of health workers and equipping clinics is essential towards quality Asthma care. Patient support groups are important for information sharing & health education and psycho-social support. There is however need to strengthen diagnostic and reporting tools for asthma.


Author(s): Sarah Kosgei

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