WiRED International Expands Programs in Kenya


The year 2013 marked the 12-year anniversary of WiRED International’s work in Kenya, where we have established Community Health Information (CHI) Centers in Pandipieri and Obunga, both located in Kisumu, on the shores of Lake Victoria.


In action steps this year, the WiRED Team introduced the new CHI e-library, which enhances and revitalizes already established health modules and offers a wide variety of new modules.


WiRED also expanded our community outreach program. We are providing CHI Centers with projectors and laptops, so our local staff can take the new e-library to meetings, schools and workplace settings. This delivers effective health training directly into the community.


Starting the trip in Nairobi, WiRED Director Gary Selnow, Ph.D. met with a group of seven senior medical students from the University of Nairobi School of Medicine who participated in our recentresearch effort on rheumatic heart disease.


Moving on to Pandipieri in Kisumu, Dr. Selnow conducted a seminar on cervical cancer using our new training program from the 23-part cancer series. He said, “The audience was 12 medical officers and health professionals who applauded the orderly, easily understood content and the teaching strategy, which uses embedded quizzes to test and reinforce knowledge of key concepts.”


The WiRED Team then traveled to the Kisumu neighborhood of Obunga, where we installed the new programs on all our computers and trained local staff on their use. For example, we reviewed the new polio module with the staff, who will employ it in the community outreach program to encourage CHI center visitors to go through the module themselves.


The WiRED Team also held a graduation ceremony for 28 recipients of our Certificate Program. Sister Bernadette Nealon (Director of the Pandipieri Health Program), Chris Akun, who is the Human Rsource Officer, Eric Achola Omburoro, Finance Officer, and Dr. Selnow all offered comments during the ceremony.


The Certificate Program encourages community members to study health modules, and, when they’re ready, to take a test on the material. To qualify, they must pass each module with an 85% mark or better. Certificates are not offered as accreditation; their purpose is to confirm successful completion of the training modules. The certificates recognize an accomplishment of study.


Speaking to the graduates, Sister Bernadette said, “The program was not designed to be easy; it was designed to reward people who worked hard, and who dedicated themselves to improving their health knowledge. So, everyone here, whether you earned a bronze, silver or gold certificate, should be genuinely pleased with what you have accomplished.”


Dr. Selnow added, “WiRED’s volunteers, staff and board are honored by this group of people who have collectively put in hundreds of hours of study to learn about HIV/AIDS, malaria, maternal and child health, proper nutrition, sanitation and 200 other health topics. Your belief in this program and your work to improve your own health knowledge are a testament to the importance of this CHI program.”


In the future WiRED plans to expand the number of health modules in our CHI e-library, increase programs for medical professionals and boost community outreach efforts by providing hardware for large group presentations.




Certificate Program

Four certificate levels are provided, and each represents the successful completion of an increasing number of modules: