COMMUNITY HEALTH AFRICA TRUST

To mitigate suffering and poverty through integrated mobile health services providing education and provision of reproductive health, immunization, basic curative and education on the dangers of female genital mutilation
Jul 9, 2014

Facing Reality

Rita (an Alias) of Northern Kenya
Rita (an Alias) of Northern Kenya

"Access to family planning could reduce maternal deaths by 25 to 40 percent and child deaths by as much as 20 percent." World Bank, 2009

Rita (an Alias) of Nothern Kenya

For public platforms use Rita (an Alias) of Northern Kenya

Rita is just 14 years old. She came to camp late at night, to get the 5 year contraception protection  implant inserted. Rita was brought by her mother, her father did not know that she was coming, and they wanted to keep it a secret from him. Rita wants to get the family planning because in the last 6 months she has had two abortions. Both were conducted in the bush, in secret by an unprofessional. She did not like to talk about the process that occurred, just that it was very horrible and she didn’t want to do it again. Rita, is sexually active with one boyfriend. It is still part of the Samburu tradition that if a young warrior or Moran as they are known as (aged between 16-30 years) gives a girl red beads, he is then known as her boyfriend and is entitled to preform sexual activities with her whenever he pleases. This is conducted with the parents’ consent. However, it is very common for the warriors to have more than one girlfriend. It considered taboo for the warrior to marry a girlfriend and thus does not occur. He merely uses her sexually until he is ready to marry. He then will go and look for a wife. This is causes a big problem for young Samburu girls. Not only because they are exposed to unsafe sex with men who have many sexual partners. But more worryingly because, if a girl has a child out of wedlock, she is will not be able to be married. This results  in a very high rate of abortions in the young Samburu girls. Most of which are carried out in secret and performed in brutal conditions.

Help us end this.

Mar 4, 2014

Partners in Health

Samburu Women and Children Ceremonial Dance
Samburu Women and Children Ceremonial Dance

Dear Donors,

We hope everyone’s 2014 is getting off to a healthy, and productive start. New years are often filled with a sense of possibility, as dreams or aspirations seem to take on a more tangible form.  Our aspirations of providing accessible and affordable care to the indigenous tribes of Kenya remain, continuing to grow with the demand each year. And in our pursuit, it is always important to be thankful and recognize our partners who help to keep us going.

At the end of January, Impatient Optimists, part of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, posted an article on family planning and maternal health- how interconnected the two are and thus the importance of their integration.  Though the focus group of the article is perhaps not the typical CHAT audience, who are of a lower socio-economic status than those the article relates to, the lessons learned from in depth data analyses that were preformed, are similar lessons CHAT has learned along the way.

One ‘lesson’ that came to mind when writing this report, is the absolute importance of consistency in care delivery, availability, and affordability of contraceptives. What is the best to achieve these two necessities? As the article concludes, it is through private and public partnerships that the needs are most effectively met. 

For the past 10 years, CHAT and the Kenyan Ministry of Health have been partners in the goals of contraceptive availability, affordability and education. Together, we have been doing our best to ensure that the communities get what they need. But when the government falls short, and it certainly does at times, it is the private donors, such as you all who are reading this, who afford us the ability to keep our promise to these communities.

So, as we begin another year with you as one of our valued partners, we wanted to say a quick and simple, thank you. Your generosity helps to create a healthier world more than you may realize.  

Let’s make 2014 a good one…!

  

Asante Sana,

 

The Team at CHAT

Links:

Dec 17, 2013

Worthwhile Stocking Stuffer

Dear Donors, 

 One of CHAT's volunteers, who has remained a helpful friend over the years, often writing these GG reports, is moving to Kenya in the New Year. She has crafted an email below about her experiences with CHAT and included a special "ask" for the clinic this Christmas season. Global Giving has afforded CHAT a steady stream of funding through thousands of generous individuals over the years, so we thought to share her email with you, as it gives CHAT the chance to give a little back to all of you. We call it the Worthwhile Stocking Stuffer. Please read the note below to learn more about the opportunity and about this volunteer......

 As many of you know, I am moving to East Africa at the start of the New Year. What first brought me there, three years ago, was a health clinic by the name of Community Health Africa Trust (CHAT). The clinic is based in central Kenya and serves some of the most remote populations of Kenya's Central and Northern highlands. It is a humble, yet highly effective organization, that offers a wide range of services including antenatal care, child immunizations, basic curatives, HIV/AIDS testing and counseling, and health education on HIV prevention. But the core focus of its efforts is reproductive health and family planning. 

 It is a truly wonderful organization and one that I have been working closely with from afar these last three years. What I believe is most special about it, and what has made it so successful, in terms of being able to reach the targeted audience, is that it was founded, run, and managed by Kenyans who live in and amongst the people that they serve. 

 And, in a society where women carry the weight of their family and home on their backs, literally, it is quite a powerful feeling to see these ladies line up, one by one, by one, to receive a contraceptive of their choice. This choice gives women some say in planning a family they alone will often care for, when it was always (and often still is) her husband who decided just how many children a woman would carry.

 Amongst many of the tribes in Kenya who the clinic serves,  women will on average have 7 children and child bearing can begin as young as 13 years of age. In Laikipia, where CHAT is headquartered, an estimated 75,000 women want, but do not have access to, family planning.

So, this Holiday Season, I thought I might ask you to dip into your pockets and make a contribution to CHAT and the communities they serve. For any contribution of $100.00 or more, we will send out a simple token of thanks, a worthwhile stocking stuffer, hand beaded by a group of individuals in the Laikipia region of Kenya. 

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