Saving Life is our passion
CHATs motor mobile clinic visited Bokish community in Mukogondo, North Laikipia, Kenya to offer medical services, because the nearest facility is over 30 Kms away - up and through the Mukogondo hilly forest, which has some of the worst driving terrain in Laikipia County - (one can only drive down the cliff with an off road car – a Land Rover or Land Cruiser - but not any other car). The indigenous forest harbors hunters and gatherers, with a few pastoralists that migrated from other areas. It is so dry at this time of the year; and overstocking compounded by over population and poverty is the cause of overwhelming degradation of the environment.
“During CHATs outreach visit to this desperate traditional, conservative community, the majority of the community visited the clinic to receive different health services - and I being a Pastor and mobiliser, realized that it was my duty to ‘bring light’ to this marginalised community” CHATs CORP partner, Parare, narrates. It’s during a ‘Lemojong’- a Maa traditional singing and dancing event held at night by the young beaded girls, that Parare met Nabolo*- a beauteous beaded girl.
“I can see that you are a Pastor & health mobiliser. I have been listening to your ‘preachings’ but realized that the youth in this community have been brainwashed by tradition; in fact you won’t believe that most of these young innocent-looking girls (barely 15 years old), have two or more boyfriends and have broken their virginity in the name of attending such events,” Parare recalls Nabolo’s comments. After an in-depth discussion between the two, Parare realized that these innocent young ladies just practiced what they traditionally knew; Nabolo could not give any risks associated with their actions – she was just doing what she learnt from her peers.
“I have noticed that the information about integrating Population, Health & Environment (PHE) as a component within the FP is not for my ears alone as most of us, including the community, must work together to organize a big meeting at the village square during one of the ‘Chekuti or Gumbaro skul’- a kind of schooling for beaded girls, morans (young warriors) & elderly, who have never attended elementary school,” Nabolo explained.
“CHAT management organized for the motor mobile clinic as an opportunity to provide choices to this vulnerable community choosing between ‘ill’ culture and, to my surprise on that particular day, the mobile clinic turned the whole event into celebrations aand many community members visited the clinic to receive fp health services instead of their usual classes,” Nabolo narrates.
“I noted that majority of these young girls and morans had STIs, with a few bold young beaded girls confirming that they have had several unsafe abortions traditional using herbs they prepare locally,” CHATs Nurse Ntinyari explains. “I wish I had met this team on time as at my age, I have already had an abortion as I was not sure of the moran responsible for my ordeal, but at least you have been here and I gained much from all of you, and I will ensure that the many generations yet to come will never undergo the same experience as mine. Three years implant is my ‘life saver’ now and will always work closely with you, Pastor,in spreading the news,” an amazed Nabolo laments.
“I can attest that I being a Pastor and a CORP will not only provide health information, but also spiritual nourishment to this community as family planning goes hand in hand with religion as birth control is an important moral choice - motherhood is a choice not a requirement,” CORP & Pastor Parare then waved farewell to the community
With your support (cost shared) in the quarter under review, CHAT has in been able to reach a total of 19,734 individuals with Family Planning encompassing ecological awareness information of which, a total of 71 ANC mothers were attended, 85 children immunised, 1,047 patients treated for different conditions and a total of 8,685 women chose and took different family planning methods.