To determine whether trained, supervised and well supplied Community Health Volunteers (CHVs) in Homabay County, can effectively administer vitamin A supplementation (VAS) among children aged 6 to 59 months.
The operational research on VAS was one of several components of the Integrated Community Case Management (iCCM) implementation research study in Homabay County, Kenya conducted over a 2 year period from October 2013 to October 2015. The study population was children 6 to 59 months. Community Health Volunteers (CHVs) were trained on the administration of VAS, documenting and reporting on the supplemented children, definition and follow up of children eligible for VAS, vitamin A commodities ordering and tracking process and mapping and registration of children under five in a master list. The CHVs then continuously conducted VAS of eligible children. CHV recorded the supplementation in the mother child booklet and in the treat and track register and finally entered into the DHIS. Over the implementation period, study data was collected monthly, in a baseline, midline and endline surveys.
The VAS coverage in Homabay was 32.1% at baseline and 83.6% at end line indicating a significant increase. Further, when compared to the control area (Siaya County) the increase is far higher (51.5%) compared to a 14.2% increase in the same period.
Well trained and supplied CHVs can successfully undertake VAS and hence increase VAS coverage. Consequently, it will be vital that VAS policies and guidelines are reviewed to facilitate CHVs to implement VAS in Kenya.