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
Sensitization by the Lake side
Sensitization by the Lake side

Free

*Not their real name

“When I started visiting the Obaria Beach at Lake Victoria in Western Kenya, I had the hope of not only reaching the fishermen who are busy out on the lake all day but also targeting the women who dry the caught fish around the shores," explained Emily, CHAT's CORP partner based at Kendu Bay in Homa Bay County. She went on to narrate that she understood the dynamics of her community well. She knew how vulnerable the women at the beach were, especially young women who relied on the fishermen and fishing activities for a living.

She remembers this young girl she interacted with on her very first day. "When I saw the yellow T-shirt and carrying a yellow bag on her back with a book in her hands, I was anxious to know what this lady was up to,” *Akinyi narrated. “She looked very composed and resourceful even at a distance,” she continued. She explains that though she had been busy spreading the fish to dry since morning, she wouldn’t mind enquiring what help the lady in the yellow T-shirt would be to her (CHAT CORP partners usually wear a bright yellow t-shirt to help community members identify them)

Emily met up with Akinyi on the shore and walked towards the fish-selling kiosks as they interacted. "Daktari, you should have come earlier than this! Many of us are suffering here, not knowing what to do nor where to go," Akinyi said after CORP Emily explained herself. Akinyi not only felt for herself but also for her friends, whom she knew would benefit enormously from Emily’s services. She would then tell Emily that she had had several men in her life, and she had a child from each of them, but only for them to leave her to bring them up alone. "I am a mother of three, two daughters and one son. It is not easy bringing them up, and I would not wish to have any more," Akinyi said emotionally. She explained how she had been mistreated by several of her boyfriends, recalling a scenario where she and three children spent a night in the rain outside after being chased out of the house at midnight.

"Had I known this long before, I wouldn't have made these mistakes. I don't regret my choices. I regret my ignorance and lack of knowledge," she said bitterly. "Now I have known the way and seen the light, I will return. Not alone, but with my friends who gave me company in this tough journey of ignorance," Akinyi said satirically. She would later introduce CORP Emily to a talk to the other girls and women at the beach. Emily recalls how Akinyi reacted when she saw her coming accompanied by a nurse the following day. Akinyi shouted joyfully, "Freedom is here!" Later, she would continue to be the one to link CORP Emily on when to bring the nurse to serve her other busy friends.

 

Thanks to GG support, in the past three months CHAT was able to reach: a total of 12,943individuals with behaviour change information (bcc), with 3,195 family planning clients receiving different contraception methods of their choice, of which 2,211 chose the long-term pregnancy protection methods of 3 & 5 years’ against unwanted pregnancies.

If we don’t halt population growth with justice and compassion, it will be done for us by nature, brutally and without pity- and will leave a ravaged world. Nobel Laureate Henry W. Kendall

CORP at Emily by the shores of Lake Victoria
CORP at Emily by the shores of Lake Victoria
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Door to door FP sensitization by CORP Emily
Door to door FP sensitization by CORP Emily

*Not their real names

Akinyi* is 35 years old from Simbi Nyaima in Homabay County on the shores of Lake Victoria in western Kenya. She has been married for over 10 years and has 9 children. After giving birth to her 5th child, her husband slowly began to lack interest in providing for such a large family. He eventually left her - leaving her to deal with the children alone. Akinyi found it very difficult to survive alone with so many children, so she found a partner with whom she has 4 children. Her latest husband does what he can to support her and the children.

Akinyi explained that she had heard of family planning before but didn’t know where to get it from, and on visiting a private health clinic nearby, it was simply unaffordable. CHAT’s CORP partner, Emily, was going door to door for service provision with a government nurse and explained all the various types of contraception protection methods. Akinyi eventually chose the three-year implant. “I have this little amount I would like to give you for the good service you have provided me. You have enlightened me and brought these precious services right to my doorstep!” Akinyi said as she handed over a hundred-shilling note to the nurse.

“Thank you for that, but keep it to buy at least something for the children,” The nurse said. “CHAT offers these family planning services to the communities we serve, for free. The kind donations from our donors enable this.” CORP Emily explained. “All I will ask of you is to ensure you tell your friends about this.” She continued. Akinyi was overjoyed to hear this. She then decided to extend kindness to her sisters and friends who were also suffering without any form of support with their little children.

The following day, CORP Emily was surprised to receive a phone call from the facility in charge that five women were asking for her. She went to the health facility and found Akinyi with four other girls. She had also brought them to get implants, as they had heard what happened at her home. What a joy it was to see this. She ensured that she sensitised them, and they all chose FP contraception methods they were comfortable with.

“I am always happy when I educate my clients, and they choose a family planning method, but it's even greater joy when they go an extra mile to bring their friends in for the services. It shows that what I am doing is needed and the right solution to our problems.” CORP Emily shared. Akinyi left with her friend promising to continue sharing the news with more people.

Thanks to GG support, in the past three months, CHAT was able to reach: a total of 13,862 individuals with behaviour change information (bcc), with 4,004 family planning clients receiving different contraception methods, of which 3,008 chose the long-term methods 3 & 5 years’ protection against unwanted pregnancies.

The evidence is pretty strong: if you have access to family planning and birth control, the abortion rate is going to go down.” Bob Casey, Jr.

CHAT motor mobile/team by L. Victoria during M&E
CHAT motor mobile/team by L. Victoria during M&E
Refferals by CORP Emily at the shores of the lake
Refferals by CORP Emily at the shores of the lake
Sensitization at the heath facility by CORP Emily
Sensitization at the heath facility by CORP Emily
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FP service provision during a CHAT mobile clinic
FP service provision during a CHAT mobile clinic

* Not their real names

When the motor mobile team got to Lailai, they were surprised to see how many people were waiting for the services. It had been ages since the community members had seen the team in their village and this was a relief for them. As soon as they started offering services, an argument ensued at the furthest end of the camp. It was between Nankeri* and her husband *Laisuman. Laisuman wanted Nankeri to immediately go to the tent and receive a five-year Implant so that they would stop having children.

 He was furious that his wife could not understand that they were poor and more children meant that they were not going to survive at all especially due to the lack of food and other basic needs. All his children could barely attend school and the toddler that Nankeri was carrying did not even have any clothes on his back since all hand me downs from his elder sibling had now turned into rags.

Nankeri, on the other hand, did not want to get the implant as she thought that it was a majorly painful operation and she could not put herself through it. This argument attracted the attention of CHAT’s Community Own Resource Person (CORP) partner, Asha, who went to try and solve the issue. Upon mediation, she was able to understand that Nankeri is scared so Ashe promised to be with her every step of the way. She even told her that she would not feel any pain apart from the injection that is for the local anesthetic if she chose an implant. Nankeri agreed and it was okay, she could have the method of her choice, the implant, but only on condition that she would not feel any pain when the nurse was inserting it.

The idea that having the implant was such a huge operation was from her friend *Laninu who was scared so she decided to inflict fear on Nankeri also. Once Nankeri who closed her eyes tightly and buried her head in her clothes was injected with the local anesthetic the area became numb and she even turned to look at what the nurse was doing! She could not believe that within five minutes they were done with the pain-free procedure and she could go home. She went straight to her Laninu’s house and told her of her experience, then brought Laninu to receive the service too!

'A lot of misconception and misinformation is from the women themselves who do have adequate knowledge of what contraception is. They mostly share fantasies and imaginations from the top of their heads but if they all could just seek a little more information then things would change.'  nurse Ann went on to explain that 'It is very unusual to see the man advocating for family planning and the woman refusing! This is a wise man.'

Thanks to GG support, in the past three months, CHAT was able to reach a total of 12,911 individuals with behavior change information (bcc) with 3,004 family planning clients receiving different contraception methods, of which 2,738 chose the long-term methods – 3 & 5 years protection against unwanted pregnancies.

“Our women need help and a lot of education since the lack of information is what is the cause of so much of their suffering. I know if they had access to this kind of knowledge before, they would be planning their families better and not having these sort of problems.” Susan Lenantare CHAT CORP partner.

Door to door household FP sensitization by a CORP
Door to door household FP sensitization by a CORP
Unpacking during a camel mobile for a clinic setup
Unpacking during a camel mobile for a clinic setup
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Refferal by CORP in the slum.
Refferal by CORP in the slum.

*Not their real names

“Five years ago a friend of mine- Muthoni*, died.” CORP Rosie narrated. “She had a daughter called Makena* who was always tagging along with the mother every time she went to the market to restock for her small vegetable stand in Mungetho slum where they lived in Nanyuki. What Muthoni was not truthful about is that she used to sell ‘illicit brew’ (lethal homemade alcohol) as a side hustle to her veggie business. Often from time to time, she would get arrested and Makena had to bail her out. Being a 15-year-old and going through such things hardened her at an early age.

When Muthoni passed on, Makena took up her job but could not keep up. She later disappeared and it was speculated that she moved back to their rural home. A month ago, I decided to go to the market in the evening. I saw roasted maize being sold and decide to snack on it as I shopped. The seller had a familiar face but I could not place it but no sooner had she spoken than I realized it was Makena! She had a baby tagging on her dress as another one was on the back sound asleep. I wondered if they were hers. I asked her to visit my house for supper as we caught up.

She indeed showed up and was grateful for a good meal. Although she has a business, the little she was earning was really hard to sustain her family. She has 3 children. Soni* who is about to turn five, Nderu*, who is 3, and Kesha* who is just 6 months old. They were all born so close. They all had different fathers who had promised to marry her but left her as soon as she had conceived. It was a streak of bad luck with the men. It was just sad. She kept saying she now understood why her mother only had one child. It is easier and cheaper to bring one up I introduced her to the different family planning contraception methods. She was wowed by the idea that she could take a break and work toward making her life stable. She decided to go all out and take the five-year pregnancy protection implant that would go a long time – compared to other choices.”

Thanks to GG support, in the past three months, CHAT was able to reach a total of 12,134 individuals with behaviour change information (bcc). Out of which, 3,912 became family planning clients receiving different contraception methods, of these 3,001 chose the long-term methods - 3/5-years protection against unwanted pregnancies.

 “We view it (family planning) as an aspect of human freedom! In the same way, as we give people education so as to open wider horizons for them in the world, the same way as you provide a farmer with greater knowledge about the seed - this so the person cannot be restricted in his living by ignorance and know the means of spacing children,” Mwai Kibaki – ex-President of Kenya

Sensitization to a young couple by CORP.
Sensitization to a young couple by CORP.
Showing different methods of FP during sentization
Showing different methods of FP during sentization
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Treatment during a motor mobile
Treatment during a motor mobile

*Their names have been changed

As the motor mobile team packed the vehicle at Longopito in June 2021, they kept wondering where Naitemwa* was. For about three years, she has always helped them set up camp and organize the clinic before people start arriving. It was not always like that with her, in fact, she always discouraged community members from visiting the clinic whenever they went to the village to provide services. She was totally against FP. Being the first wife to her husband she always said that all her other co-wives were required to have as many children like her or even more if possible. She did not expect them to be ‘lazy’. Though she had always known the husband would marry more wives, she was not ready for it thus decided to punish them and insight him to ensure they have many children.

The more the family grew the more suffering they went through. They could not provide for all the children let alone the whole family. They started sleeping hungry on most nights of the week and if they had any food, they never ate to their satisfaction. Naitemwa still never related the large family size to their suffering. She kept blaming the drought and bad times.

One day as CHAT’s CORP partner, Julius, was providing health education to a group of women he had mobilized near the motor mobile, someone gave him a cup of tea, another one offered to host him for lunch and Naitemwa was in disbelief! How could the other women afford to host someone where she knew they would be sleeping hungry that night? As she started to lament, Julius asked her how big was her family and she said 19, inclusive of her husband. She then went on to say that they all did not work and depended on their flock which was dwindling slowly and soon they would have nothing.

Julius explained to her that if she had a smaller family and had a small income-generating activity, it would be easier for them to manage their family. He told her that at the moment they should not increase their family size – rather, stabilize. From this understanding, Naitemu discussed with her husband and with all her co-wives; they each agreed and chose to receive the 5-year family planning implant contraception protection method. On top of that, they decided to sell two goats and start a business selling groceries in the surrounding markets.

From this, they now have a little food for all of them which was their greatest need. They have taken all their children to school. She always tells other women that were it not for Julius and CHAT’s Nurse, maybe they would have died of hunger. As of June 2021, she had helped 12 women change their minds and access services at CHAT’s motor mobile clinic.

Thanks to GG support in the past three months, CHAT was able to reach a total of 12,233 individuals with behavior change communication (bcc) information with 4,511 family planning clients receiving different contraception methods, of which 3,783 chose the long-term methods- 3/5-years protection against unwanted pregnancies.

"Reproductive health, sexual health, family planning, and autonomy and equality for women are not the fruits of development; they are not even the fertilizer—they are the tree itself." - Dr. Nafis Sadik

Sensitization by CORP on Family Planning & PHE
Sensitization by CORP on Family Planning & PHE
CHAT going to Nothern Kenya to give health service
CHAT going to Nothern Kenya to give health service
Degraded enviroment due to overuse of resourses
Degraded enviroment due to overuse of resourses
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Organization Information

Communities Health Africa Trust

Location: NANYUKI, LAIKIPIA REGION - Kenya
Website:
Project Leader:
SHARON WREFORD-SMITH
Nanyuki, Kenya
$44,931 raised of $100,000 goal
 
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