Kenya Travel Standard Operating Procedures (SOP’s)
KENYA TRAVEL STANDARD OPERATING PROCEDURES (SOP’s) FOR COUNSELLORS AND PSYCHOLOGISTS PROVIDING MHPSS FOR THE COVID-19 RESPONSE IN KENYA
Kenya Travel Standard Operating Procedures (SOP’s) have been introduced for the MHPSS Team in Kenya reacting to the COVID-19 pandemic that is at present influencing the entire world. The significance of having these SOPs is to ensure that all the counsellors and therapists in this reaction are applying uniform procedures and conventions while conveying administrations.
These Standard Operating Procedures will be partitioned into sections addressing to different parts of the intervation, in particular; COVID-19 data on-boarding, reacting/connecting with the site official in control, responding structure, relevant safety procedures, use of technology in the MHPSS, documentation requirements, ethical considerations, identifying and making contact with clients, delivering intervention protocol, referral network, guest/clients rights, debriefing and responding after cases, clinical supervision and finally, self-care
Each colleague in the MHPSS Intervention will get information by the Ministry of Health assigned authorities on the COVID-19 Pandemic, to have the option to get a working comprehension about what the circumstance is and to familiarize themselves with common concepts in the face of a pandemic such as the current one. This is the starting point of the intervention team’s operations.
Each member of the MHPSS intervention team will be linked with both the psychosocial support target group, as well as a clinical supervisor, to ensure that they are plugged into the structure of the intervention as designed.
Each member of the MHPSS intervention team will be attached to a specific site, from which they will draw the clientele that they will serve. Each of the psychosocial support groups will have a team leader, as well as a clinical supervisor, who will be responsible for the proper running of the MHPSS activities at the site. The clinical supervisors, as well as team leaders, will report to the national coordination team, at a predetermined rate, to ensure that there is connectivity in service provision, as well as in addressing any challenges that may be experienced during the interventions themselves. The national coordination team will also be responsible for ensuring that the logistical questions per site are well taken care of and to facilitate smooth operations.
Closely related to what will be disseminated in clause I above, the Ministry of Health designated officials will also take the MHPSS team members through the thorough safety procedures that must be adhered to at all times, if they will be at any physical site deploying their interventions. As it stands, the proposal is to deploy a technology-based intervention, to minimize the risk of exposure to the COVID-19.
The preferred mode of delivery of services during this pandemic by the MHPSS team in Kenya will be through the deployment of both telecommunication and Internet resources, depending on the availability of the same for service delivery. Video conferencing applications, such as WhatsApp Video, Skype, and Zoom are stable over internet networks in Kenya and can be easily rolled out without much capital investment. The availability of the computer terminals as well as mobile telephony requirements will be confirmed by the Ministry of Health officials and partners involved in the response.
For each MHPSS Intervention team member, the following documentation will be required during service provision: Demographic datasheet, date and me of contact, the content of the session, using brief SOAP or BIRP note modalities, activities undertaken and summary of progress. Finally, a reporting tool will have to be filled daily, to ensure accurate data capture. Guidance on consent will be sought, however, it is a must to gather it, to safeguard the process within ethical and legal guidelines.
The provision of MHPSS interventions will require each member of the team to observe the highest level of ethical standards, according to the ethics that govern the practice of counseling and psychology. Due to the sensitive nature of the operations, privacy, and confidentiality of the clients served during the interventions is of paramount importance. Any limits to confidentiality will have to be communicated with the team leaders, who will in turn communicate with the supervisor and the national coordination team.
The clients to be intervened during the MHPSS for COVID-19 will be identified by the MOH officials, as well as the PSS Team leads operating the psychosocial support service to the different teams. The various target groups will be provided with information on MHPSS services and helpline, and the contacts of the provider on call. The allocation of the clients will be done by the team leaders, in conjunction with the clinical supervisors. The PSS team leads and supervisors will provide the MHPSS intervention team members the contact information of all the members in the teams and the team members will initiate contact with them, abiding by the provided-for protocol. The provider will reach out to the target groups to provide details of services available and to establish rapport. They will establish any immediate needs of the guests and on how to reach out in case of emerging need.
The Intervention protocol that will be used during the MHPSS for the COVID-19 response will be the approved Psychological First Aid (PFA), contextualized for our current situation. Every member of the team MUST be trained in the protocol, regardless of whether or not they have previous training in PFA. This is to ensure that the understanding of all team members is standard, on how PFA might be best applied in the current circumstances. Once contact has been established as described in clause VIII above, the team members will proceed to introduce themselves and to offer themselves as a support system for the specified target group. The team member will proceed to address any questions and concerns by the group, and only offer definitive answers on contentious issues after consulting with the PSS team leads. The target groups will be asked to give feedback on services for purposes of evaluation and continuous improvement.
During the intervention, there may be individuals that require referrals for other health concerns, ranging from physical, mental, or otherwise. For the cases that may require a psychiatric referral, the national coordination team has identified both Kenyatta National Hospital and Mathari Teaching and Referral Hospital as the two facilities within the public facilities list that will provide the service as part of the MHPSS referral system.
All the clients will be treated with the highest level of regard and accorded all the rights and privileges due to them as members of the community. The clients have the right to request a change in cprovider or report any complaints about any of the services that they are offered.
Every team member will be required to generate daily reports and be part of a debriefing team, led by their team leader and Clinical Supervisor. The frequency of the meetings will be daily, if possible, in the beginning, to ensure that there is adequate feedback about how the process is working and to be able to address any hiccups that may be experienced. The frequency of such meetings will be more widely spaced as the MHPSS Intervention develops and matures and all the team members develop a rhythm through which to work. These sessions will be logged by the team leaders as well as supervisors, to ensure community and adequate record keeping.
Clinical Supervision is paramount for the smooth running of the MHPSS Intervention. It is therefore mandatory for all members of the team to be part of a minimum of one group supervision session per week, as well as one individual supervision session for every 10 cases they handle. This is key, to ensure that all the team members are applying the interventions with fidelity and that any clinical issues that may arise are addressed before they become a problem.
The cornerstone of any counselor or psychologist’s ability to provide services well is the degree to which they take care of themselves. It is this reason that motivates the design of this intervention to have a robust self-care component, which will require the MHPSS intervention team members to be active in engaging in self-care to prevent burnout. This is especially crucial because no one can predict the length of me that this intervention will take; it befits us all to be careful