Keheala Back in Kenya impacting Lives!

Keheala Training Session

Keheala Training Session

Finally! Keheala is back again for its second iteration in Kenya after a brief hiatus. It was great to meet up with most of the previous team from phase two and also getting to know the new members of our Keheala family. The training week offered us a chance to not only catch up as a group and talk about what we had been doing for the past few months, but more importantly, to remind us of our calling to serve our TB patients. This time, Keheala would not only focus on Nairobi county, but scale up to eight different counties throughout the country and cater to a wider scope of TB patients.

On the first day of training, we got to know our team members individually. This was important as it enabled us to understand our unique attributes that made each of us a viable asset to Keheala. We also interacted in a team set up so as to build comradery among each other as well as to know each other a little bit more. Overall it was a nice way to baptize us back to Keheala.

Over the course of the training days, a lot of activities were taken up. These activities included training by representatives from the Ministry of Health National TB program. It was a good refresher on TB care and gave us a better understanding of how much TB has spread nationally, the initiatives and steps taken up by the government to fight TB, the loopholes currently being experienced in the fight against TB and the progress made thus far. It also gave us a chance to learn about the use of TB ECHO as a tool to transfer information between TB coordinators and clinicians. We all enrolled in the platform since it will be used frequently to obtain information from all the spread out counties that Keheala will be launching its initiative in.

One aspect that we focussed heavily on during the training is the secondary roles that we all play as support sponsors. The secondary roles have been fundamental in the past in ensuring that the data collected on the field can be interpreted as best as possible for the relevant stakeholders (USAID, Ministry of Health, Clinicians, Patients, online community). More secondary roles were added in a bid to improve on the previous roles as well as to cater for the new needs that would arise during the project life cycle. We continuously worked on these roles in order to come up with the right way to achieve the goals for each role. This was done by creating specific, measurable, achievable and realistic objectives and coming up with various plans to achieve the said objectives.

During the week, we welcomed Erez back into the country. He was spectacular in breaking down what we achieved during the second phase of the project from the data we collected. He also gave a lesson on how to get people to pitch in subconsciously in line with Keheala’s goals. This was important as it helped us understand behavior change intervention within the confines of the study.

The technology developers we work with took us through the new platform that would be used to monitor the patients enrolled into the USSD. The platform had gone through a lot of changes and this necessitated us to practice enrolling patients as well as enrolling clinicians. Amazing additions were added to the beta version of the platform that would help in the monitoring of progress throughout the project. A few suggestions were also made that would be added to the platform for testing before its official launch during the enrollment of live patients.

On the last day of training, we finalized on the secondary roles that were assigned to each of us. A critical task that we completed on this final day, was to come up with a vision for Keheala as an organization. We came up with four guiding pillars that best define our identity and values. These were community, teamwork, hope, empowerment and innovation.

Overall, we hit the ground running and the foundation for the second phase was set during the training week. From my past experiences, I’d like to contribute to the team by availing myself to my team members by any means, to ensure that we get tasks done on time and in the most efficient manner. Ensuring that I build up my teammates through positive reinforcement towards achieving our common goals. With this in mind, having a can-do attitude is important in keeping up the tempo throughout. I’d also like to learn more from my team members to improve the skills I have and also to challenge myself with roles that I am unfamiliar with. For it is by challenging ourselves and pushing ourselves beyond our comfort zones that we can improve.

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