My community can get all the health information in a fingertip

My community can get all the health information in a fingertip

With her 54 years, Margaret is among the oldest community health entrepreneurs in Kenya. Starting a business, Margaret is able to generate some income and does where her heart is: improving the health and life of her community. “My community can get all the health information in a fingertip.”

They yelled: Margaret can do it!

Before she became a community health volunteer, Margaret was selling cereals at the market. One day, the Ministry of Health came to the market to look for community health volunteers. Margaret used to volunteer already, by referring members to the hospital or chemist when they felt sick. Some of the market sellers were yelling immediately: Margaret can do it!

“My major challenge as a community health volunteer was how to keep up myself and my daughter, because the stipend of the government wasn’t regular, and even absent last year. Nevertheless, I referred people in my community to the hospital on daily basis, because I want to relieve people from suffering. When the government stopped giving all community health volunteers free medicines for the community, I started thinking deeply: who can help us? Then Tujengane came up, it was a miracle.”

Fulfill what I wanted

Margaret paid an advanced investment and followed a four-day training to become a community health entrepreneur who sells medicines, nutritional and personal hygiene products, and simple diagnostics to her community. “I thought that if I can gain knowledge out of this commitment, I will be able to manage our lives on the long run. And I would fulfill what I wanted: to help my community.”

And she does. Margaret is a well-known community health entrepreneur and is even regularly called  by her health facility to support in providing quality patient care. She uses a smartphone to educate people on HIV, sexual and reproductive health and rights, common diseases and many more topics. “My community can get all the health information in a fingertip.”

Margaret
Community health entrepreneur Margaret
Margaret
Community health entrepreneur Margaret

Daktari

And her community members, who now call her ‘Daktari’ (doctor in Swahili) see the benefits: “I like  how Margaret delivers the service to me. She is very accessible, because at any given time I am in need, she comes with products, services and information I need.”

And what Margaret predicted was right: she is able to manage her life and that of her daughter in a sustainable way. “Currently, I never request someone anymore to borrow money like I did before. I also did wiring in my house, because I didn’t have electricity before. Now I will soon have constant supply of electricity.”

Margaret
Community health entrepreneur Margaret
Margaret
Community health entrepreneur Margaret

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About Tujengane project

Margaret is one of 1159 health entrepreneurs trained under the Tujengane project in Kenya (2018-2021). The entrepreneurs provide reliable HIV and SRHR information. At the same time, they act as mobile pharmacies by providing basic medicines and supporting products, such as soap, condoms, and washable sanitary pads. It enables them to make a living while the community profits from low-priced products and easy accessible HIV and SRHR information. Tujengane is a collaboration of Healthy Entrepreneurs, Women Fighting AIDS in Kenya and Aidsfonds, with financial support from Amsterdam Dinner Foundation.

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