Hello to all of our donors,
About a month ago, I was browsing the magazine section at the airport newsstand and was stopped by the front-page image of the Washington Post with headlines, “In Pakistan, family planning a hard sell.”
I was surprised to see an article of this nature on the front-page. It seems the birth of the world’s 7 billionth citizen, which I wrote to you about this past fall, has spurred interest on the particular topic.
It was an interesting and, at times, inspiring read for us at the clinic, inspiring because of the many similar goals, obstacles, and methods of employment that exist between community based health workers in Pakistan and our team on the ground in Kenya. It is often a comfort to know others are working alongside of you, albeit at a great distance, trying to accomplish the same goal.
Both the public and private sectors of Pakistan are putting greater emphasis on family planning in order to curb the countries increasing population, prevent deaths during child-birth and to better lives for those who are born. The principal means in which to achieve these goals is through the use of community based health workers. “You have to do this community by community,” states one of the community workers on the ground in Pakistan.
I will attach a link to the article for those of you who are interested in the read.
I have also attached a video on the clinic, which I hope will give you an intimate glimpse into the work being done on the ground in Kenya. The woman featured is one of our dynamic community based health workers who devotes the majority of her time to mobilizing community members and educating individuals on what family planning actually means and how it can be of help to them and their children.
We will be in touch in a few months.
Lots of thanks, as always,
The Team at CHAT
Hello to all of our generous donors-
I have chosen to name this report after an article written in the Financial Times last week. As I am sure some of you have read in various papers, October is the month in which the seven billionth citizen will be born into this world. This child seems to have spurred conversation and thought about just how many people the world can hold, and hold healthily. John Bonagaart is a vice-president of the Population Council, quoted often in the Times article. He states his belief in our ability to house 7 and even 10 billion people, but that it would behoove all of us to do our best to slow the pace of growth. How do we do that? Well, the article offers various strategies, most of which center around Family Planning and its accessibility.
" A primary reason to slow the growth is simple demand. The UN estimates that more than 200 million women around the world currently want, but cannot gain access to, contraception." (Financial Times. 10/19/2011)
This is something CHAT's Community Based Health Worker's realize each time they set out to visit the communities as they watch the lines to receive chosen forms of contraception grow right before their eyes. We provide affordable, accessible, reliable birth control options because women want them.
At the close of the article, Bonagaart states, " We are closer to the earth's environmental constraints than people thought." Putting greater emphasis on Family Planning as a form of preventative medicine is life saving not only for our children, but also for our environment.
This article is eye opening and should any of you care to read, I have attached it below.
We thank you so much, as always, for your continual support and interest.
Until the next report...
The Team and CHAT.
Jambo, to all of our generous donors:
I want to begin with an excerpt from the United Nations Population Fund’s web page.
It [family planning] is one of the wisest and most cost effective investments any country can make towards a better quality of life. Limited access to contraception, on the other hand, constrains women's opportunities to pull themselves and their families out of poverty.
When you read statements like this, you can see how investing in family planning is like investing in preventative medicine: it pays off in the long run. Having the choice to decided how many children one wants to have and at what time, is not only a basic human right, but a means to a more healthy, quality, life. Your continual support of our efforts to provide reliable and affordable family planning options, helps us to ensure this right is able to be practiced by the remote communities of Northern Kenya.
In our most recent family planning trip to Northern and Eastern Samburu a total of 309 clients were reached with long-term FP methods. Of those clients, it was observed that women were escorting their daughters to the clinic to receive long-term methods and men were seen accompanying their wives. The presence of men in the company of their wives, gives us great hope, as they are often the ones most resistant to our services.
10 years of commitment to these communities has created a relationship of trust. Through education and consistency, we find ourselves in front of more open-minded audiences, willing to trust in the beneficial options available to them- options allowing women to be in control of their health and bodies. As the trust grows, so does the demand, which is why partnerships are such an important part of CHAT. Many hands do make light work. The Ministry of Health and the British NGO, Marie Stopes have been invaluable contributors to the work we do, the MOH recently having placed family planning as one of its top priorities.
So, know that we are busy at work. And we thank you, always, for your interest and generosity.
We will be back with more updates in a couple of months.
The team at CHAT
Hello to all of our donors-
We wanted to give you a quick update on news of the Kenyan government’s recent public commitment to family planning on account of the country’s unsustainable population growth. The below remarks come from a Kenyan publication called, The Standard Group:
‘Planning Minister Wycliffe Oparanya has promised to revive family planning programmes to counter the country’s high rate of population growth…..
If Kenya did not control its high rates of population growth, quality of education, health and housing would suffer while food security will decline.’
‘NCAPD statistics show that Kenya’s population increased by 12 million since 1999 to stand at 40 million today, a 35 per cent rise in only a decade.’
"The risks caused by overpopulation include lack of living space, shortage of jobs, sky-high housing prices, environmental deterioration and scarcity of energy and resources…."
The clinic has just returned from an eight-day monitoring and evaluation trek in northern Samburu. Camping alongside dried up riverbeds, and conversing with the local Samburu at the watering holes, we observed the impact and reality of over-population. This region has not seen rain in more than 8 months. Luckily various organizations such as USAID, have installed pumps, so there is clean water for the people and their livestock, but, as I am sure you know, the question remains- for how long?
One of our most dynamic family planning mobilizers named Susan Lenatari accompanied us on this trip and during the day she would walk through the various villages simply speaking to the local men and women about health services in the area, the availability and or knowledge of family planning and whether or not there was a demand for it. Often times we can find ourselves developing all sorts of complex charts and questionnaires in order to gather information, yet, what continuously proves to be most informative, is good old fashioned face to face casual conversation.
We are making another trip up to these areas at the beginning of June and will be anxious to inform you of the demand we were met with.
Thank you again for your continuous generosity. What you give, whatever amount, goes a long, long, way……
Below are the numbers reached over the past three months:
COMMUNITY HEALTH AFRICA TRUST
FAMILY PLANNING STATISTICS 1st QUARTER, JAN-MAR2011
Insertions / Implants ( 5 years): 1379
Depo – Injectibles ( 3 months): 768
Oral - Pills: 635
Tube Ligations (TLs): 21
No of people reached with reproductive health information: 6,159
*Stats include the static clinic ,motor and camel mobiles
Bonus Day: March 16! Bonus Day: March 16!
Hello again to all of our donors-
This is just a quick note to let you know that On March 16, GlobalGiving.org is matching at 30% all online donations up
to $1,000 per donor per project! CHAT has two active projects- The Camel Clinic and Family Planning/Environment.
We realize that you are receiving reports like these because you have generously given money to CHAT in the past. We are very appreciative of that and are only now soliciting more directly because of this wonderful opportunity afforded to us by Global Giving. Any dollar amount from 5 to 500 and beyond will be matched and will go a long way.
The one catch is that there is a limited dollar amount available in matching
funds on March 16 and once these matching funds are used, Global Giving will no
longer be matching. If you are to donate, please try and do so on the earlier side of the day to ensure that the funds are still available.
Asante sana, in advance, to all who decide to join in on this matching day. We will send a follow up report to let you know of our hopeful success and to get you up to speed with the ground work here- our camels are currently up in Samburu with the team most likely eagerly awaiting the needed rains!
All of our very best-
The Team at CHAT.
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