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 Health  Kenya Project #14468

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
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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CHAT Nurse Ann providing the 5 years implant
CHAT Nurse Ann providing the 5 years implant

The loud uproar of laughter attracted the attention of Linoti*. He wondered what a group of women could be laughing at with these new visitors that had come to their village, Ngilois. He went closer and heard the lady seated in the middle of the cackling group talking about how women are endlessly having children and that they should plan their families to ensure they can comfortably bring them up. He immediately stopped the meeting. ‘Where are the other women! You all need to learn from this woman!’ He stated. ‘We are all suffering the same fate, why can’t you be kind and inform all you friends to come?’ He continued. 

Linoti immediately rushed back home to bring his two wives. He was just tired of always thinking of how he would sustain his family which was rapidly growing. It was as if his wives were competing to give birth!! They consequently got pregnant and baby cries were all too common a melody in their homestead

When Linoti got married to his first wife, Leeresi*, he was wealthy and wanted to have as many children as possible. He never thought that his wealth would deplete even though he did not have a constant source of income. Having the mentality that he was a rich man, he then married a second wife, Naantawa*. When she started having children too he started straining to feed them. This is when he realized that his decisions were not sustainable for their well-being. He had to step up, otherwise they would end up very poor and hungry! He found odd jobs that he would do but still they did not provide him with enough income. He decided that it was time to maintain his family size as it is, his nine children plus his wives and him. He had heard one of his peers talking about family planning but out of shame he decided not to ask least he would look like a fool for not knowing what it was.

When the ladies came and found the health education going on, being done by CHAT ‘s supported CORP partner, Pauline, they too sat and listened. Though they learned about the benefits of FP, they were scared that if they stopped having children then their husband would stop loving them. “On the contrary,” their husband told them “we have had enough and do not expect any of you to get pregnant ever again!” On hearing this, the gleeful ladies chose the 5 year and 3 year implant protection methods respectively. So, Pauline then took them to where the CHAT motor mobile had set up the clinic, where they got their FP method of choice.

‘It is very sad that women have senseless competitions like these. They should understand that these days having many children will prove to be a burden to them. I wish they can all understand the importance of child spacing and not having too many children,’ Pauline commented as she went to get more women to come and receive their FP methods of choice.

 

In the past three months, with support from our GG donors we have been able to reach 35,085 People (Both men and women) with BCC information on Family planning with a PHE approach and 7,850 with different methods of contraception.

“The next most dangerous thing after nuclear proliferationis probably global warming, and then, right behind that is overpopulation; we need to get serious about family planning and trying to alleviate poverty, to get clean, renewable energy, probably with solar panels to the billion and a half people in the world who don't have access to electricity.” Ted Turner

CHAT CORP partner providing BCC information
CHAT CORP partner providing BCC information
Strategies that CHAT use to provide services
Strategies that CHAT use to provide services
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CHAT Nurse Ann providing services
CHAT Nurse Ann providing services

‘With this economy and the expensive living, it is only normal to work more than one job.’ Lentua* explained. “Some people barely sleep and an opportunity to rest is rare. We work so hard but really never enjoy the fruits of our labor. I for one am a mother to twin girls in high school. Being a single mum, I cannot sustain them with the little I earn from my job as a waitress. I do not have any academic qualification past secondary school meaning I can only rely on local jobs.

With this, I could not find any other job apart from prostitution. Am not proud of it but it makes the ends meet so I do not mind. My girls do not know what I do on the side and I hope they never know. I leave work from the hotel at seven in the evening, go home, clean up and go to work. I love going to uptown clubs where men flood to find their luck with young women. On a lucky day I get at least five clients but am not young so I have to work harder to be on top of the game.

I am aware of the risks. I have seen girls raped and left for dead. Some customers are very aggressive and end up not paying even after making an agreement before. There are a lot of diseases and these are a major job hazard. If you are sick word might spread and there’s no way you will get customers if people know. The biggest of them all is pregnancy. Yes, I know it sounds atrocious to be scared of a pregnancy than a disease but how could one survive a lifetime of responsibilities compared to a manageable disease? Raising a child alone is much more expensive and a lot of hard work thus we need to protect ourselves. That is how we all know of Esther.

Esther-CHAT CORP offers counselling to all of us anytime we go to her. She organizes with a nurse and goes from house to house to offer services thus we all are cleared of pregnancies. If a new girl comes, we introduce her to Esther. We always replenish our stocks of condoms from her. She truly supports us without any judgement. I intend not to have more children and that’s why I have the five-year implant. This has ensured that I can go about my business without any fear or worries.

“I cannot offer jobs or a livelihood to all of them so I help where I can. Everyone has a story behind their situation and choice and am here to ensure they are safe and feel accepted.

As Martin Luther once said, ‘every man must decide whether he will walk in the light of creative altruism or in the darkness of destructive selfishness.’ I choose the light of creating better lives for fellow women.”

In the past three months, CHAT was able to reach a total of 2,671 individuals with BCC information with 780 of these being youths. 1,007 women receiving different FP methods and  a total of 5,142 condoms were distributed both male and female.

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Organization Information

Communities Health Africa Trust

Location: NANYUKI, LAIKIPIA REGION - Kenya
Website:
Project Leader:
SHARON WREFORD-SMITH
Nanyuki, Kenya
$28,831 raised of $100,000 goal
 
293 donations
$71,169 to go
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