Following the decision by the government to introduce home based care and isolation for asymptomatic COVID 19 patients in order to relieve pressure from the country’s heath care system,

KARA hosted Dr. Judith Awinja, Head of Home Based Care Programme, Ministry of Health, for a Virtual Learning Forum to provide opportunity for its members to understand more about the initiative. Dr. Awinja made an informative presentation on the theme “Understanding Home Based Isolation and Care and the Role of Community Groups in Kenya.”

Explaining the Home-Based Isolation and Care Programme rollout in the country, Dr. Awinja stated that the government had developed protocols for the programme in line with World Health Organization guidelines to facilitate its effective implementation. She said that 78% of the infected persons are asymptomatic or have mild symptoms which can be managed at home and hence the need to embrace home based care and isolation. To facilitate implementation of the programme, the Ministry of Health has trained healthcare workers and community health volunteers to educate the caregivers/ households about the programme. The Ministry began the programme in high risk counties before rolling out to all the affected Counties.

She also explained that eligible patients for the home based care programme must be assessed by a healthcare worker, 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 the 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.

Other measures that the government has put in place towards implementation of the initiative include activation of community based structures such as Nyumba Kumi and Community Health Committees to ensure compliance of the protocols by patients and families. Click here for the presentation