By Lynda Keeru
The USAID SQALE Community Health Services Program (USAID SQALE) is a three-year programme that began in March 2016 and is now coming to an end. USAID SQALE’s goal was to reduce maternal and child deaths in Kenyan communities by introducing Quality Improvement (QI) in community health services. USAID SQALE has been implemented in 58 community units, in nine sub-counties in Kitui, Migori and Nairobi Counties.
QI of community health services has been driven by Quality Improvement Teams, known as Work Improvement Teams (WITs), operating at two levels of the health system – community level and sub-county level. These teams identify problems affecting the quality of community health services, analyze the causes for these problems and develop solutions that are implemented through their work plans. Within this structure, are County and Sub-County QI Coaches – these are individuals, who both by virtue of their designation but also their passion for QI, have taken the lead in implementation of QI as coaches and supervisors.
USAID SQALE is coming to an end and is closing out by holding a Learning Event. The purpose of the Learning Event is to provide an interactive forum for sharing of experiences in implementing QI, including consolidating and planning for sustainability of QI in community health, evaluating what has worked or not worked, identifying good practice, celebrating success and rewarding high performing teams that have made an impact, launching the Kenya Quality Model for Community Health manual and disseminating USAID SQALE’s research findings among others.
The learning event will bring together health actors and stakeholders from different levels. There will be representation at all levels: QI coaches, county managers, national policy makers and other stakeholders. Participatory approaches will be used throughout the two-day event and will include key-note presentations, poster presentations, photo competition, plenary discussions, world café, peer voting talking wall and presentation of awards. As USAID SQALE comes to an end, the hope is that QI will continue being scaled up beyond USAID SQALE-funded sites.