One year ago, Rose could hardly leave her house. She had been feeling unwell for a long time and she knew it was because she was diabetic. She had seen her family members struggle with the condition and she expected the same ever since she was diagnosed with it. “To be honest, I never believed that one could live a healthy life after being diagnosed with diabetes,” she tells us.
Her neighbor, Samuel, would check in on her every day to make sure she was comfortable. Being a single mother, her children did not go to school as she could not afford to pay their school fees. “It was sad seeing them stay at home when others were in school, but I just couldn’t work!” Rose remembers.
“I remember going to see her and convincing her to be strong. She was very sick and tired,” explains Samuel. One week after this visit, Samuel was invited for a training to become a Community Health Worker at the Mariakani Sub-County Hospital.
“I had just been informed that the training would be on Diabetes and Childhood Asthma, but I did not have any more information. I didn’t realize how helpful the training would be for my neighbors and for myself,” Samuel tells us.
Community Health Workers are important to underserved communities because they promote access to health services, provide health education, and provide basic health services themselves. Community Health Workers can accompany patients to health facilities and even make sure they are taking medications properly.
After completing his training, Samuel went back to visit Rose and was able to convince her to go to the hospital with him where she went through several tests to determine her general health.
At the health facility, the two met with Dennis, a health worker. Together with his colleagues, Dennis gave Rose the health services she needed. “The nurse and the lab tech had also been trained by Amref on Proper Management and Control of Diabetes and Childhood Asthma so the process of testing Rose and giving her advice on managing her diabetes was very seamless,” confirms Dennis.
Rose was discharged after a few days. Even though she seemed much healthier, Samuel kept checking in on her to make sure she adhered to the health advice she was given. “Change could be seen from day one. She was happier, and she could move around unlike before. Before long, she was walking outside and even started looking for jobs!” adds Samuel.
Rose started selling mangoes in a wheelbarrow, pushing it as she called for customers. However, due to her age, Rose was advised to engage in lighter work. “I decided to get a stall instead. I did not want to stop selling mangoes as I get good profit from it,” she explains.
Currently, Rose has a stall in the marketplace where she sells her mangoes. She has made several new friends and is happy. “I am more pleased by the fact that I am healthy, I rarely get sick, and I can provide for my family. My children have gone back to school!” she happily tells us.