Kenya is scaling-up community health programmes in its drive towards universal health coverage. Rapid scale-up within a devolved context risks compromising quality of services. So there is a need to embed quality into community health systems.
The USAID SQALE program has implemented simple, innovative, quality improvement capacity building for front line workers. County teams were brought together in events that created a dynamic, interactive learning environment. They ensured inclusive participation across cadres and levels of the health system.
The facilitation of the meetings ensured minimal use of PowerPoint - keeping language and messaging simple. Friendly competition was fostered through themed Quality Improvement awards which used agreed criteria and were judged through peer voting and votes from senior stakeholders from the health system.
The learning events fostered powerful real-time interaction between Quality Improvement teams from different sub/counties. They encouraged a healthy debate around how to engage communities and improve quality. They also created space for advocacy and enabled policy makers and leaders to gain insights and in-depth understanding of the practical reality and achievements on the ground within the community health program.
Community Quality Improvement teams are spearheading a quality revolution in the Kenyan health system. Shared learning and advocacy are fundamental to embedding quality into community health systems. The USAID SQALE learning events provide an effective mechanism for pushing the community health systems strengthening agenda forward.