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Aug 7, 2018

WINDS OF CHANGE

CHAT nurse providing FP services to a beneficiary
CHAT nurse providing FP services to a beneficiary

"I always see this car coming here, won’t they finish our women!” exclaimed Mzee Lekonye* as he saw CHAT's motor mobile clinic approach Lorokonyeki- a village deep in the interiors of Samburu County, where indigenous Maa communities live. He could not fathom how other men willingly took their wives to receive those contraception methods that ‘stopped them from having children’ - unlike him, whose wives gave him more children – infact as many as he wanted! His friend, Mzee Lekiloki*, who sat with him as they took some local brew could not believe the kind of sentiments that his friend was sharing.

Mzee Lekiloki had accompanied his two wives a couple of months before choosing the five year protection method - now he was not worried about having more children. He decided to call their ‘village doctor’ Ntoijoni – a CHATs Communities Own Resource Persons (CORP) partner, who had helped him understand the importance of FP resulting in him bringing his wives for FP services. When Ntoijoni came and saw that it was Lekonye she had to counsel, she decided to use the approach easiest to capture his mind. She asked him the number of children that he had and to her surprise ‘mzee’ confirmed that he had four wives and was not really sure if he had 16 or 18 children in total. “Actually, I am unable to feed my family as most of the days, I can only afford one meal per day and at times, can even sleep on empty stomach as there wasn’t enough food for everyone and his wives always decided to feed the children leaving him to eat wherever he was with fellow men,” Mzee further explained.

On learning this, Ntoijoni explained that the larger the family grows, the more food and space this old man was going to need in his manyatta as well as more wealth he would have to distribute to his children once they were old enough for their inheritance. She asked him again whether he would like his family to grow larger than it is and mzee took a huge pause before admitting that he was not wealthy enough to continue growing his family. With this, Ntoijoni was able to explain to him that if he could not afford to enlarge his family then he needed to bring his wives for some contraception as it would help them not conceive thus aiding them in utilizing the little resources that they have.  There and then he went home and came with his wives. They were all counselled together with Mzee and he was able to understand that these contraception methods would not completely make them, his wives, barren - rather they would give them a break and if any of them ever wanted a child again, they could always stop using the contraception. From the look of things the ladies were not ready for another child. Three of his wives chose Jadelles a five year protection and his last wife who felt young went for the Implanon, a three year protection method

With the kind of mentality that Mzee had and the approach that Ntoijoni used, it proved that the right kind of information can change a lot of peoples thinking and that it all does not have to happen at once.  “The community’s perception is going to change client by client to help build a better place for everyone’s survival without working so hard for it. I believe if more men understood the importance of having access to FP - then this is going to be their 'GO TO' for a more resourceful survival” Ntoijoni explained.

In this last quarter CHAT was able to reach a total of 33,769 individuals with Family Planning – this includes a component of ecological awareness information; of which a total of 12,797 women chose different family planning methods; 501 antenatal women attended to and 821 children either immunized or referred for immunization services, 2,636 patients were treated – thus working towards the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG).

Men involvement during FP/PHE sensitization
Men involvement during FP/PHE sensitization
Aug 3, 2018

A TRADE FOR SURVIVAL

CHAT team led by Roselyne (CORP) in Nanyuki slums
CHAT team led by Roselyne (CORP) in Nanyuki slums

As we entered into this godforsaken slum compound we found two little girls playing with in a basin of dirty water.  Their mother was nearby was giving instructions to a local carpenter who was fixing their door that was an inch from falling apart. From the look of things it seemed that they did not have a male figure in the house.

“I am a single mum, that is why I am into prostitution. Feeding five children is not easy.” Leah* explained as she added that “After delivering my last set of twins, I did not want more children and since I have goiter I could not use any kind of hormonal method.”

I encouraged “him” we use condoms but he completely refused. One day after I came back from work (then I used to be known as Mama Safi - Mama Smart) I found my baby’s diaper tied in reverse and she seemed uncomfortable. When I checked what was wrong, I found that the guy - their own father - had raped her! I chased him away and decided to carry the burden of raising my children alone.”

Being Mama Safi was not enough and that is how she became a lady of the night. From her appearance one could not tell what Leah did or that she was HIV positive. To protect herself from pregnancy and from infecting other people she uses condoms. She proudly showed us her stash saying that these we the tools of her trade ‘Wengine wakitumia jembe - na computer mimi, natumia condoms. Zinanisaidia sana’ translates to “…others dig in the fields or use computers, I use condoms. They help me a lot”.

Leah did not know what other sure method she could use in order to protect herself from pregnancies. She was willing to but just that she could not help herself. Roselyn Mulonzya, a community own resource person (CORP) living in the Nanyuki slum, counseled Leah on the family planning methods & in particular the tube ligation (BTL) option – which Leah chose to go for. She reasoned that since she could not use the coil because of her trade she would go for a BTL since she was sure that she did not want more children.

“Many friends that I work with have the same predicament I wish they could come and learn from you, Roselyn. They all encounter difficulties with the men who do not want to use condoms. For my friends & I using a condom is about avoiding pregnancies but for the ignorant men it is protection from HIV. These women just want to feed their children, to avoid having more mouths to feed. I wish people could understand this.” She added.

Roselyn referred Leah to a clinic for the BTL since it cannot be provided by a visiting door to door CORP. Roselyn was going to be doing follow ups since she knows where she lives.

“With the interactions that I have been having with the women here I have learnt that they want to protect themselves and bring up their families with the little that they earn. The fp services go a long way in ensuring that they can do this with the worries of a unwanted pregnancy no longer looming over them.” Rose explained.

To support mothers like Leah and other underserved or forgotten communities in general, CHAT has in the last quarter, been able to reach a total of 33,769 individuals with Family Planning which includes a component of ecological awareness information, of these a total of 12,797 women chose actual different family planning methods, 2,636 patients treated for different conditions, 501 ante natal women were attended to and 821 children either immunized or referred for immunization services – all these working towards the sustainable development goals (SDG)

May 8, 2018

CHATs Innovations & Quarterly Achievements

CHATs quarterly FP achievements
CHATs quarterly FP achievements

To ensure population stabilization as a priority for sustainable development in todays environment by including a strong focus on the empowerment of women and girls,

CHAT, with your support (cost shared) in this last quarter under review, has been able to reach a total of 11,405 individuals with 3,117 choosing depo provera;  775 choosing pills, 123 choosing IUCD, 5,683 choosing 3 year NXT implants & 3,707 choosing the 5 year implant contraceptive protection.

“The hungry world cannot be fed until and unless growth of its resources and the growth of its population come into balance. Each man and woman and each nation must make decisions of conscience and policy in the face of this great problem,” - Lyndon B. Johnson, US President 1963-1969

 

Motor mobile strategy
Motor mobile strategy
Back Pack/Door to door Strategy
Back Pack/Door to door Strategy
Camel mobile strategy
Camel mobile strategy
 
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