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
Aug 31, 2020

Better late than never

*not their real names

As the team was closing up in the evening, they heard the sound of a motor bike coming towards them. They thought maybe it was the usual last person who always waited for everyone else to leave so that they could come for services. Once the rider came to a halt, they saw that he was carrying a child on his back. A young girl who looked visibly ill and weak. The man asked the team for help to put her down as he packed his motorbike. He desperately explained to the team that he had heard they were providing services and since his wife did not have any means to get to the clinic, she had waited ‘til he was back home to send the child for medication.

As the girl was being treated the man, Lokorii* said that his wife was all alone with the children in their manyatta. This prompted Julius the CORP to enquire how many children he has. Lokorii said that they have seven children. He was very proud when he was saying this. He even said that he wanted another wife so that he can have more children. CORP Julius was very shocked. He could not understand how a man with only a motorcycle as his only asset with no other source of income would want to increase his family even more than it already was - 7 children, wow!. Julius started reasoning with him by asking how he could provide enough food and education for all of them.

Without hesitation he said ‘Kila mtoto hukuja na sahani yake! (every child comes with their own provision). The children will grow. My father had 14 and we are all well so what could possibly stop mine?’ he asked Julius as he picked medicine for his daughter. Julius explained to him that if his father had less children maybe he would have gone to school and have a great job in the city. This made Lokori take pause. He started to understand what Julius was trying to explain. Julius went on to explain how a smaller family would ensure better nutrition and a better chance of having enough for the children he already has.

He then asked CORP Julius how he could ensure that the family would not grow. That is how he got to learn about family planning. Julius took his time to explain and since it was already dusk they agreed that first thing in the morning he would return to the clinic camp with his wife for FP. And they did!  CHAT”s Nurse Ann took them through the different methods of FP and they decided on the three year implant. ‘All we need is more knowledge spread to our people and they will make better choices!’ Julius said proudly

Outcomes: In the past three months, through your support CHAT was able to reach a total of 3,982 individuals with behavior change communication (bcc) information with 1,101 clients receiving different contraception methods, of which 934 chose the long-term methods giving 3 and 5-years protection against unwanted pregnancies & 21,615 condoms were distributed.

"It's long been accepted as fact that the availability of family planning services saves lives. Where women have access to these services, children and families are healthier, and society at large benefits"

Martha Plimpton.

 

                                                                                                                                                               

Sensitization during a motor mobile clinic
Sensitization during a motor mobile clinic
A thriving enviroment in CHAT operation area
A thriving enviroment in CHAT operation area
CHAT camel mobile clinic in a hard to reach area.
CHAT camel mobile clinic in a hard to reach area.
Aug 31, 2020

The Perfect Example

Roundsitting sensitization with women at Merti HC
Roundsitting sensitization with women at Merti HC

*not their real names

“It’s quite a long distance from my place, but I always find it quite satisfying to serve my communities and especially fellow women,” were CHAT’s CORP partner Madina’s  words as was sharing about - her experiences while championing family planning (FP)  intervention within the communities. She wwent on to narrate about an encounter with one of the clients she had referred three years before in Merti.

She had visited the facility - as she usually did in every quarter - and this day, she was giving health education to the women that were attending “clinic day”. She had passionately taken the women through the & positive effects  FP had to their health and family and using the PHE approach, to hammer home the socio-ecological correlation of the FP intervention. Just before she had concluded her session with her prospect FP clients, she was interrupted by a lady who had just been dropped by a boda-boda at the facilityand ran towards them shouting her name.

This drew the attention of the women who were keenly listening to Madina. Madina was surprised to hear the lady shout her name. At first, she did not recognize her till she realized it was Hamsa*, whom she had visited three years before finding her at her lowest moment. Hamsa had five children and with no job, they all depended on her husbands’ minimum wage as a sales assistant in the local shop. They barely had enough for themselves and largely depended on the school feeding program to feed her children which only provided one small meal a day.

Without even introducing herself to the group of women, Hamsa went ahead and started appreciating Madina and piling praises on her for having changed her life. She was bold to criticize women in the community who were living in absolute poverty due to unmanageable family sizes. “Please my fellow women understand that as long as we don’t get responsible for our own health and the number of children we have, we will remain slaves to poverty and our male counterparts,” said the lady in a bitter tone.

She narrated how Madina visited her house three years back and shared about the environment, health and population and how these are all corelated. She explained how it has empowered her even to pursue business opportunities. She explained that ever since, she has been keen on the return date for removal and re-insertion and it was her return day. Madina was really happy to see that she had made an impact in someone’s life! More so in a way that she is so passionate about and believes in. As she concluded giving the health talk, Madina had all the joy to tell her audience “you are more familiar with this lady and how the family planning has empowered her. It is my joy that each of us lives to tell a story, a story of how different her life has been transformed through FP.”

In the past three months, through your support CHAT was able to reach a total of 3,982 individuals with behavior change communication (bcc) information and with 1,101 clients receiving different FP methods of which 934 chose the long-term contraception method providing 3 and 5 years protection against unwanted pregnancies.  21,615 condoms were also distributed.                                                                                                                      

"We cannot confront the massive challenges of poverty, hunger, disease and environmental destruction unless we address issues of population and reproductive health"

Thoraya Obaid

Service provision during a CHAT Mobile clinic
Service provision during a CHAT Mobile clinic
A thriving enviroment in CHAT operation area.
A thriving enviroment in CHAT operation area.
 
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