Health Promotion Unit
Brief Historical Background
Health Promotion Unit is located within the KMTC grounds along the old Mbagathi. In 1953, it was noted that there was an increase in diseases associated with poor sanitation and this prompted the formation of the Division of Health Education. It was meant to spear head community education on disease prevention and for this to happen a cadre commonly referred to as Environmental Health Inspectors (commonly known in the community as Bora Afyas) were trained to educate communities on hygiene and sanitation. This was followed by the introduction of a certificate course in Health Promotion which was started in the early 1950s.
In the 1970s another cadre was established and trained as Family Health Field Educators (FHFE) to assist the Environmental Health Inspectors in carrying out health education on immunization, FP and nutrition. In 1976, official training of the Health education officers at a higher diploma level commenced and is still going on.
In 1978 the media Centre was started comprising of a printing section, radio station, and photo studio. This was funded by the World Bank and the purpose was to communicate health messages to the public through print and electronic channels. By that time the division had graphic designers, photographers artisans and machine operators. The unit was able to produce posters, wooden teaching aids and wooden materials used for keeping vaccines.
Around the year 2000 the FHFE were retrenched during the structural adjustment programs and a proposal was made to have Health Education Officers revert to their mother disciplines. The World Health Organization successfully intervened to have the officers retained and sent some of them abroad for further training in health promotion.
Health Promotion over the years has had changes in the title from Health Education and Audio visual Aid Centre, to Division of Health Education, Division of Health Promotion, Department of Health Promotion and currently Health Promotion Unit
It was made a department within the newly created Ministry of Public Health and Sanitation after the coalition government was established in 2008 with 3 divisions namely; Health Communication, Policy and Advocacy, Settings programs (community, workplace, schools,etc).
HPU has a printing section where health communication materials used to be printed such as posters, flyers and brochures. It was also used to print stationary and registers for public hospitals. Currently it is less used. inadequate