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May 27, 2017

Kenyan young Girls/Women embrace Family Planning services

CHAT's STRATEGIES
CHAT's STRATEGIES

CHAT mobilisers have noted that in the Nanyuki-slums in Laikipia County, increasing numbers of school girls are seeking out fp services which are made available by CHAT in partnership with the Ministry of Health (MOH) and community own resource person (CORP) mobiliser i.e Rose.  

Nanyuki is a fast growing garrison town frequented by an increasing number of commercial sex workers. Some school going girls discreetly engage in this vice during holidays leading to unwanted pregnancies. Rose met a 32 year old woman and her 16 year old teenage daughter, Belinda*, who had given birth last year whilst in Form two.

Belinda dropped out of school after giving birth to take care of her new born - increasing the number of mouths to be fed in her family to nine! Belinda chose a long lasting contraception method - hoping this will last her for at least 3 – 5 years this enabling her to continue her studies.

“As a family, we decided for Belinda to access FP because we want her to complete her education then find a job. We do not want her to get pregnant yet again,’ said her mother Wanjiku* who bears the responsibility of taking care of her grandchild, a huge responsibility in these lean times.

Rose liased with a MOH nurse who accompanies her at times whilst providing door to door integrated FP/ecological awareness sensitisation in the slums around Nanyuki town.

After running several tests, Belinda eventually chose a 5 year long term contraception method thus enabling her to eventually complete school, achieve her goals and dreams in life - and prevent expensive unwanted pregnancies or worse such as a fatal abortion - as was the case of some of her friends.

“Availability of reproductive health services and contraception’s is one of the key factors that we need to address in order to become sustainable and prosperous, therefore many young women and girls, like me, need to fully embrace it. I am now happy that I will not disappoint my family again as I will now complete my education and make my parents and community proud’ said Monica - another school girl speaking to the mobiliser in Majengo slum – another Nanyuki slum

“This is why CHAT, in partnership with MoH and CORPs - like me - are working closely to ensure that availability of these vital FP services reach the needy young women and girls like Belinda; it’s one of the key factors that developing countries like Kenya need to address in order to become sustainable and prosperous. We need also to embrace FP services for it is not only a universal need but also a basic human right as rapid population growth is at the center of many of the Kenya’s (and the world’s) pressing environmental, economic and security problems...” The FPCORP affirmed.

Belinda’s family was very grateful to the MOH nurse for accompanying the CORP mobiliser and especially appreciated the donor and CHAT.

Between Feb-Apr.2017, thanks to your donations- that contributed to helping CHAT reach 18,063 individuals with family planning/ ecological awareness information and a total of 6,655 clients were able to access different FP contraception methods of their choice.

“We need to recognise that slowing population growth as one of the most cost-effective and reliable ways of easing pressure on our environment and securing a sustainable future for us all,”

Lionel Shriver

Beneficiary receiving services via back pack nurse
Beneficiary receiving services via back pack nurse
May 24, 2017

CHAT's Quarterly Global Giving Report 2017

CHAT's INNOVATIVE STRATEGIES
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.

CASE STORY

“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
CHAT Team distributing reusable sanitary towels
PHE Strategy Approach
PHE Strategy Approach
CHAT Nurse providing FP services to Makena
CHAT Nurse providing FP services to Makena
Feb 28, 2017

THE VICTIMS

CHAT FPCORP providing demorming tablets to pupils
CHAT FPCORP providing demorming tablets to pupils

It is during one of the CHAT outreach clinics in the slums, that Rose, CHAT FPCORP met with a young lady named Sakino* and wanted to understand her views about family planning and Population Health and Environment (PHE).

Being a single mother aged 24 and living with her three children in Majengo- Nanyuki slums, Sakino wished she did not have a lot of waste to get rid of or at least had a way of disposing of it that was safe for the environment. “With the growing number of people in my village, I do agree that our environment is deteriorating. There is an urgent need to make voluntary contraception available so that women and their families are able to live healthy, productive lives”. Due to the hard lifestyle in the slums, Sakino’s child developed a lot of stomach complications resulting in multiple hospital visits.  “She had recurring and new diseases and they could not find the cause of her sickness,” Sakinoi lamented.

“One day while on my way to the hospital, I met Rose while mobilizing for Family Planning (FP) services in the slums.  Rose advised me to boil all the water that I use in my household and maintain the hygiene in my household, she further challenged me to visit the clinic camp for further FP/ecological awareness services that was to be held at the chief’s camp,”Sakinoi narrates.

“I tried boiling the little water I could get and with time, my children’s health started improving.  My routine visits to the nearby health facility had reduced tremendously and that was when I realized that this might have been the major cause of my continuous visits to different hospitals to seek medical attention for my children,” Sakinoi confirms.

 “With the growing population in the slums, problems like poverty, unemployment and pollution is on the rise leading to major negative effects including improper waste disposal and hence, water borne diseases,” Sakinoi explains.

“The health and success of the poorest populations hinges on thriving natural ecosystems.  Women and youth are the most vulnerable and yet remain the most marginalized.  Accord[project]ing to Guttmacher, 225 million women want to prevent pregnancy but aren’t using an effective method of contraception. This is why CHAT has been providing free health related services including Family planning to these groups of people.  Research supports this link indicating that a smaller world population could lead to substantial long term climate related benefits by lowering carbon emissions and hence improving the health of the planet. My hope is that more headway will be made through environmental negotiations that acknowledge the compound benefits of rights-based voluntary family planning for women and children at the individual level and for the planet at a global level.  Ultimately, a decreasing population in the slums will benefit us all,” Rose confirms.

“According to Lawrence M. Krauss, the root cause of the looming energy problem- and the key to easing environmental, economic and religious tensions while improving public health- is to address the unending and unequal, growth of the human population. And the one proven way to reduce fertility rates is to empower young women by educating them and providing affordable family planning,” Rose further attests as the nurse starts offering health services.   

This quarter, December 2016 – February 2017, thanks to your donations (cost shared’) CHAT reached 10,803 individuals with family planning/ ecological awareness information, of which a total of 1,015 patients were treated for different conditions & 6,345 women with different FP contraception methods of their choice in 10 counties in Kenya.

CHAT outreach team providing health services-slums
CHAT outreach team providing health services-slums
CHAT nurse providing FP services via door to door
CHAT nurse providing FP services via door to door
 
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