Reduce Suffering in Kenya Via Health Care Services

by Communities Health Africa Trust
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Reduce Suffering in Kenya Via Health Care Services
Reduce Suffering in Kenya Via Health Care Services
Reduce Suffering in Kenya Via Health Care Services
Reduce Suffering in Kenya Via Health Care Services
Reduce Suffering in Kenya Via Health Care Services
Reduce Suffering in Kenya Via Health Care Services
Reduce Suffering in Kenya Via Health Care Services
Reduce Suffering in Kenya Via Health Care Services
Reduce Suffering in Kenya Via Health Care Services
Reduce Suffering in Kenya Via Health Care Services
Reduce Suffering in Kenya Via Health Care Services
Reduce Suffering in Kenya Via Health Care Services
Reduce Suffering in Kenya Via Health Care Services
Reduce Suffering in Kenya Via Health Care Services
Reduce Suffering in Kenya Via Health Care Services
Reduce Suffering in Kenya Via Health Care Services
Reduce Suffering in Kenya Via Health Care Services
Reduce Suffering in Kenya Via Health Care Services
Reduce Suffering in Kenya Via Health Care Services
Reduce Suffering in Kenya Via Health Care Services
Reduce Suffering in Kenya Via Health Care Services
Reduce Suffering in Kenya Via Health Care Services
Reduce Suffering in Kenya Via Health Care Services
Reduce Suffering in Kenya Via Health Care Services
Reduce Suffering in Kenya Via Health Care Services
Reduce Suffering in Kenya Via Health Care Services
Reduce Suffering in Kenya Via Health Care Services
Reduce Suffering in Kenya Via Health Care Services
Reduce Suffering in Kenya Via Health Care Services
Reduce Suffering in Kenya Via Health Care Services
Reduce Suffering in Kenya Via Health Care Services
Reduce Suffering in Kenya Via Health Care Services
Reduce Suffering in Kenya Via Health Care Services
Reduce Suffering in Kenya Via Health Care Services
Reduce Suffering in Kenya Via Health Care Services
Reduce Suffering in Kenya Via Health Care Services
Reduce Suffering in Kenya Via Health Care Services
Reduce Suffering in Kenya Via Health Care Services
Reduce Suffering in Kenya Via Health Care Services
Reduce Suffering in Kenya Via Health Care Services
Reduce Suffering in Kenya Via Health Care Services
Young girls happy after receiving FP implants
Young girls happy after receiving FP implants

Being evening and after such a busy day, Pauline (a community own resource person (CORPs) and partner of CHAT’s) has a lot running through her head - including family matters. Just before she crossed the road to the other side to get home, she felt a soft pat on her back, and looking back she noticed a young girl who was all smiles at her. She recalled her very fast and almost fell into an embrace with the girl, but then remembered that the pandemic dictates contrary and took a step back for a wave.

“Pauline, you are more than a mother to me, “said the girl, as she became really emotional about it - Pauline spotted tears flowing down her face- tears of joy. She smiled and comforted the young girl back to normalcy and told her “It is well, my daughter. Every challenge has a solution and in every hardship, there is always a way out.” The 15-year-old, who happens to be a class eight candidate in one of the neighboring primary schools, had a lot to thank Pauline for.

Pauline recalled how it cost courage and passion for the young girl to stand firm and bring a smile to her life after she had been through a lot at her tender age. She remembered what transpired when the schools were closed down indefinitely and learners were required to stay with their parents at their respective homes for an unknown duration of time. “I almost shed tears whenever I remember how this young girl sneaked into my house one evening and demanded that I should take her secretly to the dispensary to have contraception. At first, I was in shock as to why she was so insistent but understood after the girl opened up that she had eavesdropped on her father planning to give her out for marriage”.

Pauline narrated how the father succeeded in having the girl married in April. However, when schools resumed and especially their candidate class, the girl shared with her then new husband that she wanted to go back to school, an idea which the husband opposed, this decided for the young girl to escape a few days later. She ran to the area Chief who summoned the husband and the father. They were forced to let the girl resume her studies whilst the other family members, who supported her getting married, threatened her out of her home. It was then that Pauline, who has always been passionate about fellow women and especially young girls, talked with the management of a private school who agreed to educate and take care of the vulnerable girl.

“Were it not for your support in ensuring I have access to contraception, I would be in the national statistics of the girls who have dropped out of school due to unwanted pregnancies during this COVID-19 pandemic“ stated the girl who became emotional again.

Thanks to GG support in the past three months CHAT was able to reach a total of 4,982 individuals with behavior change communication (bcc) information with 1,523 family planning clients receiving different contraception methods, of which 1,222 chose the long-term methods giving 3 and 5-years protection against unwanted pregnancies =- & 22,315 condoms were distributed.

“We should be respectful but we must also have the courage to stop harmful practices that impoverish girls, women and their communities”.

Graca Machel, women and children’s rights activist.

 

Happy Holidays!

CHAT team sharing condoms to a young moran
CHAT team sharing condoms to a young moran
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*not their real names

As the team was closing up in the evening, they heard the sound of a motor bike coming towards them. They thought maybe it was the usual last person who always waited for everyone else to leave so that they could come for services. Once the rider came to a halt, they saw that he was carrying a child on his back. A young girl who looked visibly ill and weak. The man asked the team for help to put her down as he packed his motorbike. He desperately explained to the team that he had heard they were providing services and since his wife did not have any means to get to the clinic, she had waited ‘til he was back home to send the child for medication.

As the girl was being treated the man, Lokorii* said that his wife was all alone with the children in their manyatta. This prompted Julius the CORP to enquire how many children he has. Lokorii said that they have seven children. He was very proud when he was saying this. He even said that he wanted another wife so that he can have more children. CORP Julius was very shocked. He could not understand how a man with only a motorcycle as his only asset with no other source of income would want to increase his family even more than it already was - 7 children, wow!. Julius started reasoning with him by asking how he could provide enough food and education for all of them.

Without hesitation he said ‘Kila mtoto hukuja na sahani yake! (every child comes with their own provision). The children will grow. My father had 14 and we are all well so what could possibly stop mine?’ he asked Julius as he picked medicine for his daughter. Julius explained to him that if his father had less children maybe he would have gone to school and have a great job in the city. This made Lokori take pause. He started to understand what Julius was trying to explain. Julius went on to explain how a smaller family would ensure better nutrition and a better chance of having enough for the children he already has.

He then asked CORP Julius how he could ensure that the family would not grow. That is how he got to learn about family planning. Julius took his time to explain and since it was already dusk they agreed that first thing in the morning he would return to the clinic camp with his wife for FP. And they did!  CHAT”s Nurse Ann took them through the different methods of FP and they decided on the three year implant. ‘All we need is more knowledge spread to our people and they will make better choices!’ Julius said proudly

Outcomes: In the past three months, through your support CHAT was able to reach a total of 3,982 individuals with behavior change communication (bcc) information with 1,101 clients receiving different contraception methods, of which 934 chose the long-term methods giving 3 and 5-years protection against unwanted pregnancies & 21,615 condoms were distributed.

"It's long been accepted as fact that the availability of family planning services saves lives. Where women have access to these services, children and families are healthier, and society at large benefits"

Martha Plimpton.

 

                                                                                                                                                               

Sensitization during a motor mobile clinic
Sensitization during a motor mobile clinic
A thriving enviroment in CHAT operation area
A thriving enviroment in CHAT operation area
CHAT camel mobile clinic in a hard to reach area.
CHAT camel mobile clinic in a hard to reach area.
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CHAT Motor Mobile Clinic
CHAT Motor Mobile Clinic

*Not their real names

“With the state of tension due to the COVID 19 pandemic - people who do not know or understand what will happen to us.? There is insecurity in our area, we always are ready to move and if you have many children and you have to run for your safety, you might lose them I always encourage my community members to have the number of children that they can manage. It’s just endless problems for us.”  Eturen, CHAT Community Own Resource Person (CORP) partner explained. “We are now also experiencing locust invasion  - and being a community that highly depend on livestock, I do not know what will happen to us once our animals start dying due to hunger!” He continued.

“Ekwam* and his wife Ekarun* decided to go for the five-year implant after I sensitized them on family planning integrating a strong component ecological awareness. It is now a year since they started using the method and every time I pass by their manyatta they seem happier. They have experienced their first year ever in their marriage without pregnancy – this is proving a sense of enormous relief to them. They haven’t had the pressure of an ever-expanding family. I am happy that I was able to help.” He continued.

“We are poor. My husband does not have a job and neither do I. We solely depend on our livestock and with how things have been here at Marti, in northern Samburu I did not think I would survive for long. We always ate the same food, we never bought clothes for our children. They always were in tatters. We just were in bad shape.” Ekarun narrated. “I had never realized that our problem is our family size until Eturen explained it to us. I learn that since I have many mouths to feed, I had to struggle hard to provide for them and the more I added the children the higher the chances that I would not succeed. I have 8 children and that meant that if I added more we would not survive. I am happy that my husband understood the importance of using modern family planning contraception. We are adjusting. I hope we will end up being an example to the rest of the community once we are better off. I know we will be.” Ekarun finished.

 

 

In the past three months, through your support CHAT was able to reach a total of 2,481 individuals with behavior change communication (bcc) information with 1,089 clients receiving different FP methods of their choice of which 911 chose the long-term implant methods giving 3 – 5 years protection.  15,211 condoms were distributed.

 

"One of the major causes of poverty is a lack of family planning. Governments and nonprofit organizations need to encourage poor people to use birth control so that they don't have unexpected babies, which will only make poorer families poorer."

Philip Kotler

Community sensitization on FP and ecology.
Community sensitization on FP and ecology.
CHAT Camel mobile outreach departure
CHAT Camel mobile outreach departure
Family Planning and HIV Sensitization
Family Planning and HIV Sensitization
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Women digging farms to provide food.
Women digging farms to provide food.

*not real name.

With her two babies being just a year apart Thirende* has little time on her hands to do anything other than to nurse them. Coming from the productive lands of Kionyo in Meru, her family’s main economic activity is farming. Since she does not work (she has put the family’s farm work behind her) her role has been taken up by the other members of the family.

“There is always a baby in this compound and now it’s my turn to have children especially since I am the youngest and newest wife to be married in to this homestead. In this area you find that the old men share their farm amongst their sons thus they all live in close vicinity. And for the most part the women work in the farms and contribute to their upkeep. It is stressing for me since I am unable to contribute to the work like the other women, and now I am being ridiculed and portrayed as lazy by my husband who often punishes me for this.”

“ If only I could have a break from having more children and have my babies grow up quickly so that I can be strong again and go back to working like the others”.  These were the thoughts Thirende had as she went for the baby’s clinic; and this is where she met Mercy who is a community own resource person partnering with CHAT to provide family planning services using a population health & environment (PHE) approach.

Thirende shared her thoughts with Mercy who told her there is no need to worry since there is always a solution to it all. Mercy told her of the different contraception methods and helped her wipe out all the myths she had heard from other people. Mercy thought it was a good idea to accompany her to tell the other ladies married in her homestead so that they could support each other as they presented the idea to their husbands, after all they are all brothers.

“We are just women trying to earn a honest living for our families as well as to please our in-laws who expect grandchildren from us as well.” Explained Thirende “If every woman in this area was on FP and had the control of when she was going to get pregnant it would help a lot since more of us will be able to work and help in generating some revenue for our families! We need to develop survival techniques in these tough times!”

Thirende agreed with Mercy who had taught her about the benefits of spacing the birth of her children and sensibly planning the numbers of babies to have – this would then promote the health of Thirende which in turn made for a productive individual.

 

‘The "environmental movement" is becoming an economic movement, is joining the social justice movement, is becoming a sustainability movement. It's leaving behind the "People's Needs” versus “Nature's Needs" conflict in favor of making the case for environmental health as the essential underpinning of prosperous and stable human civilization.’ Edward Norton

In the past three months, through your support CHAT was able to reach a total of 3,781 individuals with behavior change communication (bcc) information with 1,507 clients receiving different FP methods of which 1020 chose the long-term methods providing 3- or 5-years protection.

Women Queing for services at CHAT Mobile Clinic
Women Queing for services at CHAT Mobile Clinic
CHAT Mobile strategies
CHAT Mobile strategies
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CHAT CORP sensitizing client during backpack
CHAT CORP sensitizing client during backpack

*not real name

“I was going door to door sensitizing the people and that is how I met Mama Louwai*. She was seated outside the manyatta with two of her daughters, one had an infant suckling and the other daughter was as heavily pregnant as her mother. This was just a weird situation but not uncommon. The family home had so many children running around and though it was all fun and games, it just did not seem right.” CHAT’s CORP partner, Kinoti, shared.

‘Mama Louwai* had six daughters and all of them - except for one - had one or more children. They all lived together. She wished that they were a less number but since they were all there, there was nothing she could do about it. I was curious to know if they went to the facility to at least take their children for immunization or, at least, if they ‘delivered’ at the hospital and to my dismay, she actually laughed at me! She said she did not see the need of going to the hospital for whatever reason whatsoever, especially birth, since it was not an illness!

From this response I knew I had a huge task ahead of me to handle. Luckily, she had shared that she wished there were less children in the homestead. I used this to explain to her that if she wanted the children to always be healthy and for them to control the number of children that they had in their home, she had to visit the hospital to learn more as well as get services that would help them. I told her of the importance of delivering at the health facility since it meant that they will have their children immunized and then will have access to contraception when the right time comes.

She wanted to know if the contraception was going to ruin her body and make them infertile. She also thought that the health facility was a bit too far for them to be going for their antenatal visits. I explained to her that we could arrange that when I return for backpacking - with a nurse next time- that we could always pass by and offer the needed family planning (fp) services to them at home. As for hospital deliveries, she would have to be moving somewhere close to the hospital when she is almost due.

With that, the following week I went with a nurse and four of the ladies chose to take contraception, offer ANC to Mama Louwai and her pregnant daughter and immunize all the children since none of the children had ever been immunized

I am so happy when I see her family progressing on well. The children are healthier and the girls are no longer worried about unwanted pregnancies. This is the kind of work that makes me happy all the time”.

In the past three months, with support from our GG donors  - cost shared with others, we have been able to reach 34,192 individuals (both men and women) with Behavior change information about FP using  a Population Health & Environment (PHE)  approach,  and 8,511 clients chose and were provided with different methods of contraception.

‘By improving health, empowering women population growth comes down’ Bill Gates

Service provision during a backpack outreach
Service provision during a backpack outreach
CHAT Mobile reaching to hard to reach communities
CHAT Mobile reaching to hard to reach communities
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Organization Information

Communities Health Africa Trust

Location: NANYUKI, LAIKIPIA REGION - Kenya
Website:
Project Leader:
SHARON WREFORD-SMITH
Nanyuki, Kenya
$30,542 raised of $100,000 goal
 
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