Skip to content
community health volunteer in Bungoma County, Kenya

community health volunteer in Bungoma County, Kenya


The crucial link between community health promoters and quality of care provision in Kenya

Delivering on the promise of 'health for all'

7 December 2023
Kenneth Macharia

In the intricate tapestry of global healthcare, certain threads stand out as beacons of change and progress. Among these threads is the vital role played by community health promoters in Kenya, serving as linchpins in the delivery of primary healthcare.

Community health promoters play a pivotal role in implementing Kenya’s Community Health Strategy. This importance was affirmed by H.E. William Samoei Ruto, Kenya’s President, through an investment to bring in a workforce of 100,000 dedicated community health promoters, each equipped with essential knowledge and tools, to serve around 100 households each across Kenya. This model creates approximately 10,000 community health units, forming part of a broader primary care network (PCN). These units are closely linked to level two and level three health facilities, providing a hub-and-spoke system with level four facilities at the centre.

At the heart of this transformative model is a focus on preventive healthcare. Community health promoters are at the forefront of disseminating vital information on nutrition, hygiene, and disease prevention. By addressing health challenges at their roots, these promoters contribute significantly to reducing the burden on the healthcare system and enhancing the overall quality of care.

Importantly, this model recognises the critical need for robust referral pathways. Community health promoters serve not only as primary points of contact but also as conduits for seamless transitions within the healthcare continuum. Their role extends beyond prevention, encompassing early detection and referral to higher-level health facilities when necessary.

The integration of community health promoters into the fabric of primary healthcare delivery is not just a strategy; it is a paradigm shift. By recognising and nurturing the symbiotic relationship between these promoters and the quality-of-care provision, we pave the way for a healthcare landscape that is not only more effective but also more compassionate and inclusive.

As we celebrate the strides made in Kenya, let us draw inspiration from this model to inform and shape healthcare practices globally, ensuring that quality care is not a privilege but a fundamental right for all. Through the establishment of well-defined referral pathways, we can guarantee continued care, fostering an environment where individuals receive comprehensive support, from preventive measures to specialised treatment, thus realising a vision of healthcare that is truly holistic and patient centred.

If you’d like to find out more about our work in Kenya, please contact our East and Southern Africa Regional Director, Kenneth Macharia.

Focus areas
Health Systems Strengthening
Quality Improvement

Related content