Imara Connect (iC) recruits, trains, and equips community members on basic health and wellness, and connects at-risk members with affordable professional medical services to provide last mile healthcare intervention.
iC brings together community members, healthcare workers, leaders, and volunteers in the community, with Imara Mediplus Hospital. After operating in Embu for 4 and a half years, the hospital realized that remote local communities, often small scale farmers, laborers and small business owners that needed healthcare the most, lacked access to quality medical attention due to the cost of care and the distance to such facilities. These led them to seek care in low tier medical centers that often do not have resources to diagnose or manage the conditions prevalent in these communities.
With over 4.5 years of experience in healthcare provision in rural (Embu), Kenya, we noticed low utilization of our facilities by individuals living in remote communities in our region, in spite of having very low-cost services, provided by certified medical doctors, which is rare in our region. We conducted a design-thinking exercise to empathize with the community, and understand the problem better. Our research outlined the following as being important to a patient’s decision-making process on where and when to seek care. The community perception, cost of care, distance, perception of the severity of disease and knowledge of the existing healthcare providers (options).
Our findings suggested that community members will avoid healthcare costs unless they perceive disease to be severe. The perception of disease severity is largely influenced by the social view of the disease and individual knowledge. Individuals will ultimately seek reference from trusted members of the community on which hospital to attend.
By creating awareness and knowledge at the community level and leveraging heavily on building social relationships, iC will lead to increased healthcare interaction between individuals and the hospital.
How to register as an Imara community health volunteer:
Fill the form below to register become a member of our program.
Who are we looking for:
- Self-motivated individuals
- Part of the community
- Willing to improve community members health through: Education, home visits and first aid care
Benefits of joining iC:
- Free training in healthcare programmes such as first aid and basic life support
- Certification as an Imara trained community health agent
- Facilitation in transport, communication expenses etc.