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
Apr 17, 2015

A Day In The Life Of CHAT's Motor Mobile Nurse

Pauline Treating A Patient
Pauline Treating A Patient

The day starts before the birds do, there is still mist outside, the grass is cold and wet with dew, it’s time to start packing and set off for the next community. All that is heard is the zipping up of tents and bags. A metal pot is nestled on a small gas stove, a hot cup of sweet tea is all that is needed to keep the “wolves away” in the early morning. Once finished, Nurse Pauline with Peter, CHAT’s driver, pile into the yellow land rover and make their way to their next community, this could be as close as 50km or as far as 150 km or more usually following off road tracks and trails.

It’s a long drive, the team is always relieved to arrive at the next community. The fun doesn’t stop yet! First in order is to find a good place to set up the simple clinic for the day. This can be from setting up the treatment tables under a big shady tree (shade-less depending on the weather) to finding empty classrooms or kiosks big enough to fit in everything including Pauline herself and a patient. They begin unpacking the medicine and set up the two rickety metal tables, Peter sets up the tent nearby for private services.

Not only is Peter CHAT’s driver, he is an excellent mobiliser. Pauline won’t be seeing him for a while, which is just fine as Susan, Community Own Resource Person (CORPs) had “backpacked” from her home community to mobilize here for a few days, she had come up with a number of people who needed our services; from family planning, HIV/AIDS counseling and testing (HCT), TB information to basic curatives. Susan works alongside CHAT with a performance based MOU after CHAT facilitated her training.

Evelyn came to Pauline with her 18 year old daughter, Mary. Mary got pregnant while she was in school. She has a child who is only three months old. Mary had an accident some time ago which has left her with a problem with her leg making it difficult  to do normal day to day tasks, her mother has to help her with her child and many other house hold duties daily.

Evelyn explained that she wants Mary to go back to school, the child will be cared for but they are both afraid Mary will not manage with another child on board. Nurse Pauline having listened, took the time to explain each FP method. After some time Mary decided that she wanted the 3 year implant; after receiving the implant she was excited about going back to school - she had a smile from ear to ear.

Evelyn asked Pauline for her mobile phone number so she could keep in touch with her, she hopes that Pauline will return to visit them. Mary was also given Susan’s, CHAT’s FPCORP’s number. Small displays of thanks and appreciation really make it worthwhile, even the day seems less hot! 

Tummies are rumbling, when is it lunch time? The team doesn’t stop for lunch, there are patients waiting to be treated. They will wait until the evening when they have time to prepare a meal.

Before night falls they set up camp for the night. Bags come out and the same zipping noise is heard. Peter shares with Pauline that they provided services to 78 impoverished people yesterday – 96% wanted family planning ecological awareness services – 55 chose the 3 year implant method of contraception method!

Another day well spent, thank you for all your kind donations that make these ventures possible!

Feb 4, 2015

Having The Choice

 

 

For public platforms use Lynne & Daniel (an Alias) of Likii Slums, Laikipia County

Anne, our back pack nurse met Lynne one afternoon in the Likii slums of Nanyuki town, Lynne is 26 years old who is married with 3 children to a man named Daniel. Her firstborn are twins, and her last born is a girl.

She has been using the 3 month injection method of contraception protection (Depo Provera) for 9 years.  She learnt about family planning from a doctor when she went for a clinic check-up for her firstborn children. She says her husband is aware and very supportive of family planning. She also says she always wanted to have 2 children but she has no regrets either way. She has now decided to get the 5 year contraception protection implant because she doesn’t want to have any more children.

She told us that choosing the 5 year implant contraception protection method will benefit her children and family because she can work efficiently and provide for them, and the children will get all the attention they need from her. She hopes her family continue being as happy as they are now, and she thinks having more children with their current financial status will ruin that dream. She also dreams that her children will grow to be successful after they finish their education.

She is very grateful to CHAT for the free implant family planning method she chose, and for CHAT's efforts to help the women in her community. She says most of them are aware of family planning but they don’t use it because it’s either expensive for them or they believe in the myths against family planning being talked about in the area

 

Your generous donation can help reduce these unwanted pregnancies by providing much needed Family Planning options to many more women in Kenya!  Please donate today to help these women make a better life for themselves! 

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Jan 20, 2015

Happy 2015!

Dear Donors.

 

Happy 2015 to all of you! Below are a few excerpts from our Director's year-end notes. We have received some good news, had some harrowing rock climbing accounts in the field, entered into some new territories, and will hopefully be sending the beloved camels out on a trek very soon! Please take a read below to get a taste of what life on the ground in Kenya has been like over the past few months:

 

ACCESS TO COMMODITIES:

We were given the most amazing surprise in November when, after months of trying to get at some longer term family planning (fp) commodities sitting in the government stores, the Kenyan government released approximately 15 million KSH worth (!!!) of the longer term fp implant method commodities to CHAT for us to distribute. This will be able to help 18,000 women to protect themselves for 3 years against unwanted pregnancies. This is great news in light of the below facts:

  • Studies have shown that Kenya has one of the highest unskilled abortion rate in the world!? And though we don’t know the rate for infanticide, from our experience we know this must be very high too!
  • Currently, approximately 225 million women in developing countries want to avoid pregnancies, but are not using modern contraceptives.
  • Poor maternal health and HIV/AIDS are the two most common causes of death for women of reproductive age- and a key factor is lack of use of appropriate contraception!!

 

ACCOUNTS FROM THE FIELD:

Recently, the CHAT team traversed breathtakingly beautiful scenery while providing fp services to underserved, poor communities in Nyandarua (central Kenya - a 1st time visit to this part of Kenya for CHAT).

We used our motor mobile and backpack strategies to reach these ‘forgotten’ communities who live on the steep slopes and valleys west of the Aberdare forests. Here, in the sheer heights of South Kinankob, CHAT’s backpacking nurse, Pauline, suffered severe ‘sense of humor failure’ whilst clambering, puffing & gasping her way up agonizing seemingly 90% incline slopes to reach her fp clients! With her was Volunteer, Jorien, from Holland, and she was also being assisted by enthusiastic howls of laughter and general glee from Peter pushing ‘Her Hardship’ from behind (Peter is CHAT’s intrepid jack of all trades’ (driver/mobiliser/clerk).

Meanwhile, Mrs. Pauline Lokipi strode ahead providing her door-to-door fp/ecological sensitization services to hundreds of clients who then patiently awaited our other Nurse Pauline, “Her Hardship,” to catch up and insert mostly the longer-term contraception to those clients that chose this method.

Rose, CHAT’s project officer, and I missed out on this ‘hilarious excursion’ (depending on, of course, whose points of view you listen to!!) as we motored beyond to meet villagers around Kieni Forest. Rose did what she does best talking and sharing much needed fp & ecological awareness information with men of all ages – enormous amounts of noise accompany these meetings with much hilarity and clapping from the audience- & Rose!

CHAT’s door to door fp mobilization will continue for another 2 months in Nyadarua, being provided by local family planning community own resource persons (FPCORPs) & local nurses whom CHAT & the Ministry of Health identified. We will have been able to afford to avail free implants to at least 2,800 women in this County by the end of February. Over 900 women have chosen the implant method as of mid December already.

Our backpack strategy also continues in the slums of Nanyuki, Maralal & Isiolo, the poor communities surrounding the flower farms on the slopes of Mt Kenya, in and around the Karissia Mountains in Samburu, and numerous mobile communities throughout Laikipia, Samburu, Isiolo & parts Meru and Nyeri.

 

DID YOU KNOW:

  • Kenya’s population growth still remains one of the highest in the world and, currently, approximately 45% of the population lives below the poverty line (US $1 per day). (I personally think this is a MUCH higher percentage - In some communities where CHAT provides services, up to +90% are living below the poverty line).
  • In the last 2 – 3 years, over 85% of CHAT fp clients chose the longer term contraception protection (3 – 5 yrs), often accompanied by husbands, sons, brothers and boy friends who escorted the women to the services.

 

CAMEL MOBILE PLANS:

We had plans to send a camel mobile out for a month starting mid November, to an area ‘forgotten and remote’- along the county boundaries of West Laikipia with Baringo County; peopled by traditional Pokot and Tugen cultures. But, we were asked by the community and government leaders to delay this, due to insecurity in the region (security forces moved in to search for carjackers). This is now scheduled to go out mid January for a month.

 

OTHER PLANS:

From January to March CHAT will be up in Laisamis District in northern Kenya providing integrated health services targeting poor communities and the trucking route which is delivering to the construction of what, in 3 years time, will be the worlds largest wind farm – above the shores of southeast Lake Turkana.

 

We look forward to keeping you abreast of the goings on over the next few months. In the meantime, a very happy and healthy start to 2015 to all of you, from all of us, at CHAT.

 

Asante Sana!

 

CHAT

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