The Ministry of Health launched the Home-Based Isolation and Care protocols, on 10th June 2020. Kenya is the only Country in the region that is implementing this program as one of the case management strategies to combat the Coronavirus disease.
The protocols have been developed in line with World Health Organization guidelines following extensive consultations with various stakeholders with the aim to relieve pressure from the country’s health care systems, the Chief Administrative Secretary for Health, Dr. Mercy Mwangangi explained today during the COVID-19 media briefing at Afya House.
This is in consideration that 78% of the infected persons are asymptomatic or have mild symptoms which can be managed at home, the CAS said.
The guidelines developed in consideration of the local socio economic situation, have been translated to Kiswahili and counties are called upon to translate them to local languages.
The Ministry of Health is already training Healthcare Workers and Community Health volunteers to educate the caregivers/ households about the programme, beginning with high risk counties before rolling out to all the affected counties, the CAS said.
“The focus of this training is to build capacity at household’s level to take care of COVID-19 patients at home,” she noted.
The course covers eligibility, feasibility and procedures of the program, with eventual monitoring and evaluation and aims at empowering individuals and households with basic knowledge, skills and competencies, to enable them function effectively as caregivers of COVID-19 patients.
In addition, other community bases structures, such as Nyumba Kumi and Community Health Committees have a role to ensure compliance of these protocols, the CAS noted.
Eligible patients for this program must be assessed by a healthcare worker, be confirmed as COVID-19 positive, and also be asymptomatic, or with mild symptoms of the virus. Such patients should be free of any underlying conditions.
She further, explained that asymptomatic patients put on this program, will be discharged at least 14 days from the date of their first COVID-19 test, a period during which they should not have symptoms. However, mild symptomatic patients will only be discharged if they have not developed fever for at least 72 hours, without medication.
“In the event that one’s condition deteriorates, we are advising them to call 719, or send a short message (SMS) to *719#, or, notify the designated health care worker,” she added.
The CAS thanked the healthcare workers as well as the Community Health Volunteers that are supervising the Home Based and Isolation Care program for their commitment and dedication.
“The success of this program depends on them,” she stressed and urged the counties to download the Protocols and guidelines on home based care from the Ministry’s website, www.health.go.ke