Community Health Strategy

Rafiki is an implementing partner of the Ministry of Health (MOH) Community Health Strategy.

The strategy divides the country into health units of about 5000 people each supported by 50 Community Health Workers (CHW) (one for every 20-50 households based on the terrain and population density). The CHWs are supervised by one Community Health Extension Worker (CHEW), under the leadership of a Community Health Committee (CHC) made up of representatives of Village Health Committees (VHCs). The aim is to reach communities countrywide within the shortest time possible using cost effective health approaches. The MOH strategy is based on equity, social justice and self-reliance.

Rafiki currently works with one health unit, involving 50 CHWs serving around 1,000 families or 5,000 people to:

  • Provide health education through such mechanisms as home visits to explain ways to improve health, and to prevent illness through education on water treatment; sanitation and hygiene; nutrition; malaria prevention; sexually transmitted diseases; antenatal and maternity care; HIV testing and drug adherence.

  • Recognize and classify common conditions so that they are able to decide on the appropriate action to take during home visits, whether it be referral to local clinic, or simple treatment such as basic first aid or treatment with oral rehydration salts.


Rafikiís role is to mentor the CHWs and ensure that they have the knowledge to carry out their functions. To achieve this we meet CHWs regularly to answer questions and provide guidance on advice to give to families on referrals to local clinics, VCT centers etc. We supplement this with health education training to ensure that they remain up to date and are aware of other factors that determine good health.

In addition we expose them to:

Through this, the 1,000 families in their care learn that good health can be achieved through effort and behavior change. Families gain a chance to break the cycle of disease and poverty and help achieve community sustainability.