CHAT's INNOVATIVE STRATEGIES
CHAT had a wonderful surprise when were given a grant from GlobalGiving (GG ) in January 2017 totaling £15000
With this grant CHAT’s priority is to reach underserved marginalized and in this case ‘forgotten’ peoples in Tharaka Nithi County - one of the smallest counties in Kenya, located from the eastern slopes of Mt Kenya and stretching down through a semi-arid environment to the Tana River. (A county infamous for endless health worker strikes resulting in desperate suffering!). CHAT implemented a 11 days motor mobile clinic to provide integrate services, focusing on providing access to family planning (FP) services whilst using a Population Health and Environment (PHE) approach. CHAT also provided Basic Curative treatment.
Consisting of 1 nurse and 1 driver who camped out, the team worked alongside 3 community own resource persons (CORPs) who went ahead providing door to door mobilization including FP/ecological awareness and sensitization., referring them to the mobile clinic where necessary.
An overwhelming demand for FP contraception was proven when the clinic began receiving clients that were risking their lives crossing a swelling Tana River - from neighboring sub county Mwingi North in Kitui county.
CHAT’s small team with only one nurse was able to reach:
- 859 individuals mobilized and sensitized on fp encompassing ecological information
- 577 women clients received different FP contraception methods of their choice - the most popular being long acting contraception where 355 implants inserted.
- 101 patients treated for different conditions including but not limited to UTI, arthritis, URTI and diarrhea.
- Although it was school holidays, CHAT also distributed 200 reusable sanitary towels made and donated from Canada.
Conclusively the above achievements were leaving many individuals – especially women - with an unmet need for FP contraception and desperate for other medical treatment.
The county reports a high percentage of unmet needs for family planning - 52% according to a survey done by the county in 2013; but CHAT believes this is higher – going from their own experience.
With the remaining funds which is £8198 - CHAT continues to supporting the work of 3 Back Pack CORPS to do their door to door FP/ecological awareness sensitization until July 2017 – and when the situation is safer CHAT plans to implement a 3 week camel mobile – possibly in September17. This is Kenya’s ‘election year’ which can experience explosive dynamics in many parts of the country – so CHAT tries to plan around these.
“Being married at 12 years old in 2013 and now with 5 children, I wish I had known about and been able to access FP years ago. Actually, am from Kinna area and my children and I settled here 3 years ago seeking refuge, after the Borana community raided our homestead killing some of my neighbors and leaving many of my friends wounded, including my husband who is currently in a wheelchair as a result of being cut by machetes. Here I am today with nothing but pain - I don’t know who to turn to, or where to go,” Gacheri* narrates.
“I met with Makena while she was mobilizing for FP services and decided to visit the clinic to enquire further. I believe that with access to the sort of information Makena is sharing can mend so much of our suffering,” Gacheri explains - hopefully to the nurse.
The nurse counseled her about the different FP methods - after some more tests the nurse noted that the any contraception method would be suitable for her and she opted for the three yrs. Implants as her FP method of choice.
“During famine, we experience weakness & some lives lost & orphaned. Organizations bring support especially food, but they don’t realized the root cause of our problem. Accessible FP provides a solution - thank you, ‘yellow team’, for this life saving opportunity! I believe by embracing FP maybe we will improve on conserving the environment with our children having a chance to a better life!” Gacheri lamented.
“It’s proven that when contraception use increases, countries will have higher economic growth, less dependent on foreign aid, more girls continue their education, become more stable, secure and have less gender inequality” CHAT nurse, Sarah, explained waving to the community as the motor mobile departed.
The communities especially requested we convey their enormous gratitude to the donor.
CHAT Team distributing reusable sanitary towels
PHE Strategy Approach
CHAT Nurse providing FP services to Makena