Dec 28, 2020

A Step Ahead

CHAT Nurse providing a 3- year implant to a lady
CHAT Nurse providing a 3- year implant to a lady

As they bid the community goodbye after 7 days of sensitizing them with family planning information, Rose, CHAT’s FPCORP, could not hide her joy due to the significant effect they were making especially in the lives of the young school-going girls. Just as she was about to enter the car and start their journey back, she noted a middle-aged woman who was shouting her name from a distance. 

Despite that the team, with the locum nurse, was somehow in a hurry to return, Rose couldn’t afford to ignore the woman who had made such effort to attract her attention and now running towards her. Catching up and calling Rose aside, she said “I can’t believe that you are going back, we need you to stay for a longer time and sensitize our daughters.” Out of her wisdom, Rose was keen to respond to this woman, so she said “It could not be better than this, my sister; we have done the most important thing - to educate you. I believe so far and with that information, our daughters are in a position to make an informed decision.”

The woman nodded back in agreement to the response Rose had given and stated that the information was given at just the right time and in the right manner. She went further to admit that since the reporting of the first case of COVID-19 when the schools were consequently closed, the parents had experienced so many struggles in keeping up with their teenage daughters who had just started “knowing themselves”. She mentioned to Rose that her greatest fear was the risk of her two daughters getting unwanted pregnancies, as she herself still struggles to single-handedly educate them.

As usual, Rose remained keen on the kind of responses she was giving the lady, realizing the community so much relied on the information that they receive from her. She then shared with her that it was the parent’s responsibility to share with their children on sexuality as they grow, as this was one of the factors that had contributed to a majority of teenage pregnancies. She then wrapped up the conversation by saying, “Despite about access to family planning, we have also shared with your daughters on the need for safe sex and abstinence, as this will also save them from a myriad of repercussions including contacting STIs’ & HIV/AIDs.

It was the team’s joy that they had also capacity build the facility nurse on how to offer the family planning services to the clients. According to Rose, it was such an impact made within a short time- and this continues to make her passionate about what she does. 

Thanks to GG support - in the past three months CHAT was able to reach a total of 4,982 individuals with behavior change communication (bcc) information with 1,523 family planning clients receiving different contraception methods, of which 1,222 chose the long-term methods giving 3 and 5-years protection against unwanted pregnancies & 22,315 condoms were distributed.

“Childbearing, I mean, if there's no place to go to deliver your baby, then you're the one that's delivering in those unhealthy circumstances. Or if you can't get access to family planning, your chances of surviving and being able to bring your kids up if they come one right after the other, that is what locks you into a cycle of poverty”

 Melinda Gates

Sensitization during a motor mobile clinic
Sensitization during a motor mobile clinic
Ongoing motormobile activity
Ongoing motormobile activity
Dec 28, 2020

Restored.

Young girls happy after receiving FP implants
Young girls happy after receiving FP implants

Being evening and after such a busy day, Pauline (a community own resource person (CORPs) and partner of CHAT’s) has a lot running through her head - including family matters. Just before she crossed the road to the other side to get home, she felt a soft pat on her back, and looking back she noticed a young girl who was all smiles at her. She recalled her very fast and almost fell into an embrace with the girl, but then remembered that the pandemic dictates contrary and took a step back for a wave.

“Pauline, you are more than a mother to me, “said the girl, as she became really emotional about it - Pauline spotted tears flowing down her face- tears of joy. She smiled and comforted the young girl back to normalcy and told her “It is well, my daughter. Every challenge has a solution and in every hardship, there is always a way out.” The 15-year-old, who happens to be a class eight candidate in one of the neighboring primary schools, had a lot to thank Pauline for.

Pauline recalled how it cost courage and passion for the young girl to stand firm and bring a smile to her life after she had been through a lot at her tender age. She remembered what transpired when the schools were closed down indefinitely and learners were required to stay with their parents at their respective homes for an unknown duration of time. “I almost shed tears whenever I remember how this young girl sneaked into my house one evening and demanded that I should take her secretly to the dispensary to have contraception. At first, I was in shock as to why she was so insistent but understood after the girl opened up that she had eavesdropped on her father planning to give her out for marriage”.

Pauline narrated how the father succeeded in having the girl married in April. However, when schools resumed and especially their candidate class, the girl shared with her then new husband that she wanted to go back to school, an idea which the husband opposed, this decided for the young girl to escape a few days later. She ran to the area Chief who summoned the husband and the father. They were forced to let the girl resume her studies whilst the other family members, who supported her getting married, threatened her out of her home. It was then that Pauline, who has always been passionate about fellow women and especially young girls, talked with the management of a private school who agreed to educate and take care of the vulnerable girl.

“Were it not for your support in ensuring I have access to contraception, I would be in the national statistics of the girls who have dropped out of school due to unwanted pregnancies during this COVID-19 pandemic“ stated the girl who became emotional again.

Thanks to GG support in the past three months CHAT was able to reach a total of 4,982 individuals with behavior change communication (bcc) information with 1,523 family planning clients receiving different contraception methods, of which 1,222 chose the long-term methods giving 3 and 5-years protection against unwanted pregnancies =- & 22,315 condoms were distributed.

“We should be respectful but we must also have the courage to stop harmful practices that impoverish girls, women and their communities”.

Graca Machel, women and children’s rights activist.

 

Happy Holidays!

CHAT team sharing condoms to a young moran
CHAT team sharing condoms to a young moran
Oct 20, 2020

Reality.

Lucy doing C19 screening door to door in the slum
Lucy doing C19 screening door to door in the slum

GlobalGiving, donors & friends thank you so much for the generous support this last quarter. It has been particularly appreciated realising the tough times everyone is experiencing.

This allowed us to provide invaluable COVID 19 prevention and protection materials and sensitisation to otherwise un-served “forgotten” communities. This allowed us to procure & construct basic hand washing systems, masks, gun thermometers for screening, sharing vital door to door information & sensitisation to the poorest and most marginalised.

Reality

*Not their real name.

Nairobi’s Dagoreti slum is a high risk COVID 19 hell hole. The seething crowds in the market, open sewers and cramped living shelters are the norm. CHAT’s CORP associate Lucy usually has a huge task ahead of her.

Lots of needy women and children can hardly afford to survive, let alone afford PPEs to protect themselves. With CHAT’s support received from GlobalGiving, we were able to procure and share some masks, hand washing soap, gown, and sanitizers to Lucy to share with the community. On one of her rounds, she met Isaboke*. Isaboke lives with four other girls from her village back in Kisii. In Western Kenya They all came to Nairobi to earn a living and without a steady job or income they ended up in their small shanty in the slum. She is a cleaning lady.  Due to COVID, she was put on hold by her regular customers, reasoning “times are hard” or her services are no longer required.

Her situation resulted in her wandering around in Dagoreti Market looking for any manual labor. This meant a lot of interaction hence the risk was high for her. When Lucy went to sensitize them on a Sunday, she found Isaboke feeling unwell, fatigued, and with a fever. Lucy immediately knew she had to refer her to the health centre for further investigation finding some of the symptoms similar to COVID and true to her suspicion, Isaboke tested positive. This meant Isaboke had to be isolated at the hospital and her friends had to step in and cover her portion of the bills at ‘home’ - and help in the hospital. Being “contacts” they were not positive, but they still had to put their lives on hold and go into quarantine.

"I realize that COVID has affected our lives but once someone gets it, it becomes worse. Isaboke and her friends were barely surviving and now, their lives are beyond rock bottom. I wish I could help more. But their health comes first here. They will come back from it" Lucy empathized. “Out of the many cases, many came from the slums. Poverty, lack of access to good health care, bad sanitation, and poor nutrition compound her situation. What CHAT has shared with us as a community has gone a long way in helping to protect ourselves and acquiring more knowledge on how to be safer. I hope this disease goes away so that we can get our lives back".

CHAT reached a total of 38,884 people with integrated family planning & COVID 19 behaviour change communication (bcc)

Door to door Lucy distributed face masks, soap, hand sanitizers, provided 5 lit & 20-liter containers towards constructing hand-washing stations, and gun thermometer helping to screen for sign and symptoms of COVID 19.

 

"For millions of workers, no income means no food, no security, and no future. As the pandemic and the jobs crisis evolve, the need to protect the most vulnerable becomes even more urgent."

Guy Ryder, ILO Director-Genera

CHAT Nurse screening a patient during motormobile.
CHAT Nurse screening a patient during motormobile.
Handwashing setup by a CORP and community members
Handwashing setup by a CORP and community members
Community sensitization on FP,ecology and COVID 19
Community sensitization on FP,ecology and COVID 19
 
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