American Journal of Economics, Finance and Management
Articles Information
American Journal of Economics, Finance and Management, Vol.1, No.5, Oct. 2015, Pub. Date: Aug. 5, 2015
Costs of Training Community Level Workers Using a Community College Approach in Western Kenya
Pages: 520-528 Views: 2059 Downloads: 751
Authors
[01] M. Kaseje, Faculty of Arts and Sciences, Great Lakes University of Kisumu, Kisumu, Kenya.
[02] L. Thomas, Faculty of Health Science, Department of Public Health, Maseno University, Kisumu, Kenya.
Abstract
Introduction: Training of the community level health workforce has posed challenges to the health system, both in providing adequately trained personnel who in most cases are volunteers, in finding a niche for them within the formal health sector and in meeting costs for their training. These cadre, also known as community health workers, community volunteers or lay health workers play key linkage points to households that the formal sector cannot accomplish alone, more so within constrained resources and shortages of formal health workers. Community colleges provide an alternative to formal training especially of lay workers. Great Lakes University of Kisumu introduced the formal community college training program in 2013 where 169 community health workers were enrolled in five sites. The program aimed to increase the number of certified community health workers for improved health uptake and to provide them with a career path. Objectives: This study set out to determine the cost elements related to the community college training program in order to ascertain its viability and long-term sustainability. Methodology: The study used a qualitative approach where data was collected from records of a convenience sample of 140 students enrolled in five community college sites. This information was triangulated with interviews of college tutors and program staff. Results: Most students were interested in the certified training provided by the community colleges. Females (60%) were the majority of students. Trainee ages ranged between 19 to 60 years with the majority in the 21to 30 years age group. Educational entry point varied, with the majority (78%) having secondary level education as compared to those with informal training. The main cost centres for the community college program were transport costs to the training sites (78%), staff wages and allowances (13%), training materials (7%) and refreshments for the trainers (2%). Only 4% of the expected fee revenue had been collected from students at the time of the study, with the balance expected at the end of the training. Conclusion and Recommendations: Community colleges are viable alternatives to formal training of community health workers. Initial training program costs pose constraints to student enrolment and may require alternative pre-funding sources or may have to be provided at a high unit cost until enrolment rises to an economical unit cost.
Keywords
Community College, Community Health Worker, Lay Health Worker, Health Systems, Human Resources, Training Costs
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