COVID-19  Kenya Project #50060

Help 1,000 babies reach their 5th birthday - Kenya

by Brighter Communities Worldwide
Help 1,000 babies reach their 5th birthday - Kenya
Help 1,000 babies reach their 5th birthday - Kenya
Help 1,000 babies reach their 5th birthday - Kenya
Help 1,000 babies reach their 5th birthday - Kenya
Help 1,000 babies reach their 5th birthday - Kenya
Help 1,000 babies reach their 5th birthday - Kenya
Help 1,000 babies reach their 5th birthday - Kenya
Help 1,000 babies reach their 5th birthday - Kenya
Help 1,000 babies reach their 5th birthday - Kenya
Help 1,000 babies reach their 5th birthday - Kenya
Help 1,000 babies reach their 5th birthday - Kenya
Help 1,000 babies reach their 5th birthday - Kenya
Help 1,000 babies reach their 5th birthday - Kenya
Help 1,000 babies reach their 5th birthday - Kenya
Help 1,000 babies reach their 5th birthday - Kenya
Help 1,000 babies reach their 5th birthday - Kenya
Help 1,000 babies reach their 5th birthday - Kenya
Help 1,000 babies reach their 5th birthday - Kenya
Help 1,000 babies reach their 5th birthday - Kenya
Help 1,000 babies reach their 5th birthday - Kenya
Help 1,000 babies reach their 5th birthday - Kenya
Help 1,000 babies reach their 5th birthday - Kenya
Help 1,000 babies reach their 5th birthday - Kenya
Help 1,000 babies reach their 5th birthday - Kenya
Help 1,000 babies reach their 5th birthday - Kenya
Help 1,000 babies reach their 5th birthday - Kenya
Help 1,000 babies reach their 5th birthday - Kenya
Help 1,000 babies reach their 5th birthday - Kenya
Help 1,000 babies reach their 5th birthday - Kenya
Help 1,000 babies reach their 5th birthday - Kenya
Caroline with new baby at home
Caroline with new baby at home

Thank you so much for your support of this project.  In our last update we visited an outreach clinic at Magire Hill and our health co-ordinator Carolyne Chepnetich noted that many of the new mothers who attended were very young.   

There has been a rise in teenage pregnancies as a result of COVID-19 right across Kenya.  A report in July about the impact of COVID-19 on adolescents in 4 target counties in Kenya, found that 16% of girls and 8% of boys did not return to school when schools reopened in January.  This was due to teenage pregnancy and lack of school fees.  The report also found that 4% of 15-19 year old adolescent girls are pregnant or recently had a baby.  This story is repeated across the country.

Teenage pregnancy and early marriage for adolescent girls limits their ability to finish school, reach their full potential and ensure the health of future generations.  Our project is supporting girls and women through their pregnancy and delivery and through the early year’s of their babies lives ensuring they are safe and healthy.  We are committed to ensuring that girls and women continue to access this vital support.

Health facilities continue to struggle with supplies of PPE for health care workers and basic vitals like  soap and water as case numbers of COVID-19 rise and those resources are diverted. To countract the strain on health services, we have supported outreach clinics to enable 25,518 people to avail of child immunisations, maternal health services and health talks since the pandemic began.   

Community health volunteers continue to accompany women to their first Ante-Natal care health clinic visit, encouraging them to attend the recommended 4 visits during her pregnancy and supporting her up to the birth of her baby and beyond. 

Community member, Caroline, from Emitot village, had this to say about her experience of the Ante-natal care support from her local community health volunteer Margaret.  She says that Margaret gave her health education on hygiene and proper diet, encouraged her to attend the health facility and report when she was feeling unwell. 

Caroline had delivered six of her children at home but for this most recent pregnancy, she was encouraging to deliver in a health facility.  Holding her 9 month old baby, Caroline said that “because of the regular home visits and health information given by the community health volunteer, home deliveries have greatly reduced in our village and pregnant women go for Ante-Natal clinic”.  She added that delivering in a hospital was a good experience for her and she encourages other women to do the same.

None of this is possible without the support of individuals like yourself and we thank you on behalf of all the girls, women and babies your donations are supporting across Kericho county, Kenya.

On November 30th, GlobalGiving is giving away one million dollars to non-profits around the world as part of their #MoveAMillion campaign for #GivingTuesday. Your generosity can help us unlock a greater share of those funds!  If you would like to donate to this project again, November 30th is the day to do it so please mark your calendar today!  

 Thank you for your support.

Vaccinations fridge delivery to health clinic
Vaccinations fridge delivery to health clinic
Caroline delivered her new baby at health facility
Caroline delivered her new baby at health facility
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Women and babies arriving for the outreath clinic
Women and babies arriving for the outreath clinic

We are delighted to bring you this update which focuses on an outreach clinic held on June 8th on Magire hill in Kipkelion west – this place is literally at the top of a mountain approx. 2,200mt up a very steep climb. The team involved in the outreach included 4 of our staff team, the local community health volunteers, Kennedy, a Public Health Officer and Damaris, a Nurse from the Ministry of Health.  They brought with them vaccinations carried in specialised cooler boxes, baby weighing scales, examination couch, paperwork to keep record of the people they would see that day.

There were 58 mothers and babies at the clinic and babies ranging in age from newborn to toddlers.  Depending on where their homes are the women walked with their babies between 15 and 50 minutes to get there.  By comparasion, without the outreach clinic coming to them, their nearest health facilities are Songonyet dispensary and Makyolok dispensary both a 7km walk which in the mountainous terrain could take over 2 hours there and 2 hours back.  Some of the women at the clinic had delivered their babies at home which is reflective of the challenge it is to travel on foot while in labour to reach a hospital.

Our health co-ordinator Carolyne Chepnetich was at the outreach and noted that the mothers were very young, Three of them were teenagers and this is reflective of an increase in teenage pregnancies as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. There is an increase in gender based violence and rising poverty levels are leading girls into transactional sex for money to support their families with food and even to purchase sanitary pads for themselves.

Carolyne shared her view - “the biggest threat to mothers and babies currently in Kericho county is access to information, basic maternal health services is still a challenge as result of distance to facilities, poor infrastructure, poverty, literacy level. Most local facilities operate only during the day (shortage of staff) and in a case where a mother goes into labour she has to deliver at home if she can’t get to the next facility.”  She says “current threats as per the Ministry of Health are maternal complications such as pre-eclampsia, Sepsis, obstructed labour and respiratory distress for babies”.   

The outreach on this day provided immunisations, vitamin A supplementation, deworming tablets and monitoring of weight and development according to age.  Mothers were also sensitised on COVID-19 - its prevention, the importance of handwashing, mask wearing etc.  Outreach clinics are also the place to spot mothers who are unwell and refer them for further investigation or treatment – at this clinic thankfully there was no need for referrals. While the mothers waited they chatted and shared stories all of which build confidence and support for one another.

Speaking about the day, Carolyne says the Community Health Volunteers and the mothers were so appreciative of the outreach as it saved them from travelling long distance in an area where the terrain is poor and with no means of transport.  They were also happy that the outreach became an eye opener to the ministry of health to see the need for a facility in that area – the building is complete and waiting to be put into operation for some time now.

The next outreach clinic for this area was set for 13/07/2021.

Mountainous area of Magire hill
Mountainous area of Magire hill
Administering immunisation vaccine
Administering immunisation vaccine
Newborn twin babies!
Newborn twin babies!
Reading the baby weighing scales
Reading the baby weighing scales
Anxiously waiting and watching immunisations
Anxiously waiting and watching immunisations
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Immunisations line at Mugulwet Outreach Clinic
Immunisations line at Mugulwet Outreach Clinic

Thank you so much for your donations to this project supporting women through pregnancy, to give birth safely and for babies to have all they need to thrive, be healthy and reach their 5th birthday.  Here is an update for you on how things are going this year.

Access to health services is difficult for women in Kericho county especially from remote parts that do not have road access and the only option can be a long walk to reach any form of public transport plus the cost involved.  To solve this issue, outreach clinics are held to bring services to the communities, setting up for a day using a local school or church.  Health services provided include – immunisation of children less than 5 years of age; weight monitoring; ante-natal care; deworming; nutrition and Vitamin A supplementation; family planning and identification and referral of cases to health facilities.  So far this year we have held 42 outreach clinics with 2,115 people attending.

Throughout this pandemic, the health and safety of staff in the health facilities is at risk as Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) is in short supply and we have been working to provide PPE so the clinics and hospitals can operate safely and staff are protected.  This means that in January 261 children were able to receive their immunisations and mothers could safely attend clinics for ante-natal care.

86 volunteers have taken part in Maternal Health training as part of the training programme to prepare them for their role as Community Health Volunteers.  They learn how to how to recognise any danger signs that could threaten the health of mother and baby.  They play a key role in referring women to their nearest health facility to attend for ante-natal care and to give birth at the facility where they have access to the care and support of the health staff. 

During last week’s maternal health training, when asked what it means to the volunteers involved, Hellen said

“From maternal health training my knowledge has improved and I will sensitise women on the importance of attending all ANC Clinic, eating balanced diet since it affects the nutritional status of the unborn child, individual birth plan and safe hospital delivery. Exclusive breastfeeding of the child for 6 months, attending all immunization schedule and growth monitoring up to 5 years and always keeping the child warm”.

Community Health Volunteers are also trained in using an Ante-Natal Care tracker system which means they track a woman from the time she becomes pregnant, accompanying her to her first ANC visit, encouraging her to attend the recommended 4 ANC visits during her pregnancy and supporting her up to the birth of her child and beyond.  Between November and February, your donations have supported 100 women to complete their 4 ANC appointments.   

Along with these activities, we have also made another distribution of fresh supplies of soap and water containers to the 77,000 households we supplied in 2020 as part of our COVID-19 response.  Thanks to your support, 83 homes have had smokeless stoves installed and 17 volunteers have been trained as installers – these stoves have chimneys and will protect the health of babies and toddlers from inhaling smoke at home from wood burning fires and stoves used to cook food for the family. 

Raising awareness of maternal health has also been happening through community based lifeskills courses for groups of men and women from the same community.  We have held 10 courses so far this year with 168 participants  - one of the modules of this 5 day course is about maternal and new born health and family planning.   These words are from Sharon who took part in a lifeskills course in February – “I have so much to be grateful for, especially having attended this training from Monday.  I have learnt so much especially on family planning that helps in management and maintenance of children for better life.”

None of this is possible without the support of individuals like yourself and we thank you on behalf of all the women and babies your donations are supporting across Kericho county, Kenya.

Kericho County Health team accepting PPE delivery
Kericho County Health team accepting PPE delivery
Mums & Babies celebrate International Womens Day
Mums & Babies celebrate International Womens Day
Celebrations at International Womens Day
Celebrations at International Womens Day
Celebrating International Womens Day with dance
Celebrating International Womens Day with dance

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Organization Information

Brighter Communities Worldwide

Location: Cobh, Cork - Ireland
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @4abrighterworld
Project Leader:
Maria Kidney
Midleton, Cork Ireland
$27,023 raised of $30,305 goal
 
302 donations
$3,282 to go
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Pay Bill: 891300
Account: GG50060

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