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New training in household air pollution, health and prevention to be launched for the Kenyan community health workforce

Household air pollution from reliance on wood, charcoal and kerosene for household energy was estimated to be responsible for 22,109 deaths and more than a million years lived with disability in Kenya in 2019. A team from the University of Liverpool have been working with colleagues from Amref International University and the Kenyan Ministry of Health to develop a new module to empower Kenya’s community health workforce (CHW) to tackle the problem. The new technical module aims to raise awareness of the health impacts from household air pollution and how to minimise these through prevention strategies, such as clean cooking, that can be implemented by households. With support from the World Health Organisation the module was piloted by the University of Liverpool for 100 CHWs in Uasin Gishu County in November 2019 (photographs) and was due to be ratified by the Ministry of Health in March 2020, when the first case of COVID-19 paused the process. The good news is that finalisation of the module is now under way with training Ministry of Health community health worker trainers in December, to be delivered by experts from the University of Liverpool. This is the final step before the module will be rolled out to CHWs across the counties of Kenya under Universal Health Coverage benefitting 70% of Kenya’s population who currently rely on polluting household fuels.