Huduma Poa Health Network Kenya: Who are we and What do we do?

Huduma Poa Health Network is a social franchise ran by Kisumu Medical and Education Trust-KMET through the support of USAID in partnership with PS-Kenya and the Ministry of Health. The franchise was officially launched on January 30th 2013.

The network is currently made up of 80 privately owned Health Facilities serving urban and rural undeserved population with 63% rural and 37% urban distribution.

Huduma Poa operates in 15 counties drawn from the former Nyanza, Western and Rift Valley Provinces.

The network aims at harnessing skills and energies of private health providers to integrate health services & ensure their facilities are a one – stop shop for the target undeserved communities.

To realize this, the Franchise builds capacity of healthcare providers through workshops, quality assurance and on job training based on Ministry Of Health Standard operating procedures to enable them offer:

  • Family planning method mix;
  • HIV counselling & testing;
  • HIV care and treatment
  • Prevention of mother to child transmission of HIV/AID
  •  Cervical cancer screening,
  •  Integrated management of childhood illnesses
  • and TB case detection, treatment and follow-up

The franchise has an established demand creation component comprising of 160 community health workers and 5 demand creation officers mandated to forge linkages between the facilities and target communities to promote demand for and access to the health services in line with Ministry Of Health’s community strategy.

Within a period of 2 years Huduma Poa has reached to 143,000 women of reproductive age with integrated Reproductive health services and information through:

Huduma Poa Service Delivery Points, Huduma Poa Days, Community Health Promotion Sessions & Outreaches.

For more info, visit our website KMET.

By Emmanuel Oyier  Twitter: @owyier

Breast cancer fight begins with you and me……get screened now!


October is a profound month in the medical world. It’s tagged the Breast cancer awareness month. It’s normally a period to take stock and reflect on the fight against breast cancer in the world.
If you have lost a dear one, the feeling, the agony is tormenting. Seemingly if you have seen some you know suffer this ailment, you can relate.
Breast cancer is normally associated with women compared to the male folk. In the United States this cancer is most common in women aside from skin cancer.
The self-help literature and media like videos always tip to a lump on the breast, you and I can attest to this.
What is breast cancer?
It’s a malignant tumour that grows in one or both of the breasts. It develops in the ducts or lubes (the milk producing areas of the breast)
Why do women develop breast cancer more often?
The hormone in a womans body that is estrogen and progesterone increases the development.
Estrogen triggers cancer cells to double. Interestingly, estrogen can cause the breast cancer cells to double every 36 hours. Progestron triggers the cells known as stromal cells to send signals for more blood supply which leads to feeding of the tumour.
Are breast cancers the same?
There exist different stages based on the size of the tumour and whether the cancer has spread. It’s important for doctor and patient to know the stage of the cancer as it helps in making treatment options
How can I identify breast cancer, what can I look for?
The most common sign would be a lump, abnormal thickening of the breast, change in colour or shape of the breast.
Other signs
• Dimpling or puckering of the skin
• Swelling , redness or warmth that does not go away
• Nipple discharge that starts and appears only on one breast

What’s the situation in Kenya?
In 2012, Kenya established a National Cancer and Prevention and Control Act making it one of the few countries with legislation for cancer. This development means the Ministry of Health called for revenue allocation for cancer control in the government budget.
A faulty national health insurance plan which hinders access to medical care compounded by apathy and lack of access to accurate information makes screen rare and cancers undetectable.
Myths exist with belief cancers are curse from the ancestors and elders
What is the treatment for breast cancer?
Patients with breast cancer have many treatment options. Most treatments are adjusted specifically to the type of cancer and the staging group. Treatment options should be discussed with your health-care team. Below you will find the basic treatment modalities used in the treatment of breast cancer.
Most women with breast cancer will require surgery. Broadly, the surgical therapies for breast cancer can be divided into breast conserving surgery and mastectomy.
Breast-conserving surgery
This surgery will only remove part of the breast (sometimes referred to as partial mastectomy). The extent of the surgery is determined by the size and location of the tumor.
In a lumpectomy, only the breast lump and some surrounding tissue is removed. The surrounding tissue (margins) are inspected for cancer cells. If no cancer cells are found, this is called “negative” or “clear margins.” Frequently, radiation therapy is given after lumpectomies.
During a mastectomy (sometimes also referred to as a simple mastectomy), all the breast tissue is removed. If immediate reconstruction is considered, a skin-sparing mastectomy is sometimes performed. In this surgery, all the breast tissue is removed as well but the overlying skin is preserved.
Radical mastectomy
During this surgery, the surgeon removes the axillary lymph nodes as well as the chest wall muscle in addition to the breast. This procedure is done much less frequently than in the past, as in most cases a modified radical mastectomy is as effective.
Modified radical mastectomy
This surgery removes the axillary lymph nodes in addition to the breast tissue.
Depending on the stage of the cancer , your health-care team might give you a choice between a lumpectomy and a mastectomy. Lumpectomy allows sparing of the breast but usually requires radiation therapy afterward. If lumpectomy is indicated, long-term follow-up shows no advantage of a mastectomy over the lumpectomy.
Written by Don King
Additional information sourced from

Young Leaders: Voices of Innovation for MDGs

Young people play a pivotal role in any culture and society. Constituting the largest percentage of the population they are quite-essential in pursuing Millennium Development Goals and the Sustainable Development Goals. They advance health related issues from girls empowerment to reproductive,maternal, newborn and child health.

KMET through the sisterhood for change (SFC) which is a youth empowerment program were able to reach out to the youth especially young ladies  through education, so that they have the skills and knowledge to make smart behavioral decisions.

The young leaders forum courtesy of Johnson and Johnson Global Health highlights this

World Contraceptives Day


KMET through the Homa Bay family planning advocacy project joined in celebrating this year’s World Contraceptives Day. The project is supporting the Homa Bay county government develop and approve a five year family planning strategy especially for four of the most needy sub counties. The sub counties are  Ndhiwa, Mbita, Homa Bay and Suba.

Homa bay county health minister Dr Lawrence Koteng who was the chief guest encouraged providers and the partners to continue the fight to improve maternal indicators in the county.

He underscored the need to have planned pregnancies pointing out the use of contraceptive would help in child spacing and timing.

The Homa Bay family planning advocacy project is supported by Population Action International (PAI) who were vital in providing support towards organising this year’s event.


KMET Empowers a Forgotten Group in HIV/AIDS Campaign: Nyanya Oloo narrates the plight of grandmothers affected by HIV/AIDS and how KMET came to their rescue.

Maria Oloo narrating how KMET came to her aid and the others in their group.

Maria Oloo narrating how KMET came to her aid and the others in their group.

The impact of HIV/AIDS in the society has been told again and again but little is usually highlighted on its effect on the elderly, especially grandmothers who always have to resume the role of child upkeep.

Maria Oloo an elderly lady in Obwolo, Kisumu, is one of the many grandmothers who have to spend their old age trying to make ends meet for her early orphaned grandchildren due to HIV/AIDS.

The 69 year old lady, mostly referred to as Nyanya Oloo, says her son and daughter in law succumbed to HIV/AIDS leaving her in custody of five grandchildren.

Nyanya Oloo becomes melancholic as she recalls a new responsibility she had of ensuring her grandchildren got at least basic education yet she was living in abject poverty.

She says her life had to change completely and she decided to seek help by walking with her grandchildren from one organization to another to get well wishers who could help her grandchildren go to school.

In the process of walking from place to place with her grandchildren, other orphans within the village who also faced the same predicament joined her until she found herself voicing the plight of 30 other orphans to attain at least basic education.

As a result of her involvement with children who are either infected or affected with HIV/AIDS, Nyanya Oloo was one of the old ladies selected to attend KMET training on Nyanyas (grandmothers) and access to ECDE education, income generating activity and entrepreneurial skills, care giving as well as community Conversation.

‘Kaka wanyanya, KMET nopuonjowa kadho aora komak lwetwa ber moingo ka oting’wa e tok, ‘she   says in Luo as she beams with happiness. (KMET taught us that it was better to cross the river with our hands held instead of being carried on the back)

Nyanya Oloo notes that the KMET training was an eye opener since the Nyanyas living with orphans opted not to wait for handouts but instead formed a group, started income generating activities to support the orphans and even mobilized the community and enrolled many children at Obwolo ECDE with the support of KMET.

She is very grateful to KMET for having chosen to empower a forgotten group, the elderly ladies, who most often are charged with the responsibility of taking care of HIV/AIDS infected or affected children after their parents pass away.

By Lynette Ouma.

A closer look at Huduma Poa Sky (Telemedicine) Project

LInda Adero, a tele-medicine Nurse Counselor making a tele-consultation at the Central Medical Facility based at KMET Health Complex

LInda Adero, a tele-medicine Nurse Counselor making a tele-consultation at the Central Medical Facility based at KMET Health Complex

Kisumu Medical and Education Trust (KMET) in collaboration with World Health Partners (WHP) runs a Telemedicine based project in Kisumu and Siaya Counties dubbed ‘Huduma Poa Sky’ (HPS). The project utilizes the medical Knowledge, skills and experience of a medical doctor based at the Central medical facility (CMF) at KMET Complex to reach patients in 7 Sky Health centers mostly Huduma Poa Clinics.
In order to carry out tele-consultations, the Sky centers and the CMF are connected via internet and cellular technology. The clinics are manned by nurses and Clinical officers who also work with a network of Community Health Volunteers (CHVs) attached to the Sky health Centers. The role of the CHVs is to refer clients and where necessary and practical also make house calls to connect patients at the comfort of their homes with a medical Doctor. Once the patients are consulted, diagnosis, request for laboratory investigations and drug prescriptions are sent electronically. The patient gets the drugs from the sky centers and follow ups are done from the CMF.
Since its inception in late June 2014, the project has carried out 287 successful tele-consultations resulting into better patient care and treatment. The project intends to have 3 additional Sky Centers in the region and increase the number of CHVs attached to the facilities to a minimum of 6 per facility. In addition the project will bring on board Medical consultants and specialist on specific days, apart from equipping the CHVs with affordable drugs to dispense at the community level. The ultimate goal of this initiative is to reach the undeserved population with quality health care within a walkable distance.
By Daniel Omolo (HPS Project Team Leader)

KMET partners with six other organizations to train adolescent girls on Sexual Reproductive Health

KBT partners in a meeting dicusssing the kick off of trainings for adolescents on Sexual Reproductive Health

KBT partners in a meeting dicusssing the kick off of trainings for adolescents on Sexual Reproductive Health

Kmet signed an MOU with six other partners within the Kisumu Brain Trust (KBT) Network to implement a program meant to empower adolescent girls and young women on reproductive health.

The partners from Precious Tear Initiative, Technoserve Kenya, Mercy Compassionate, Tegemeo Pamoja, Tembea Youth Center and Watoto Musiliye Organization agreed to partner with Kmet to train girls and young women on advocacy with regard to Sexual Reproductive Health issues.

Kmet’s Youth Empowerment Coordinator, Jenipher Musuya said the trainings are expected to enable the girls and young women to make informed choices on their sexual and reproductive life as well as educate their peers within the community.

She added that the program would not only impart knowledge on reproductive health and advocacy skills, but also link the girls to youth friendly facilities where they can easily access family planning services and information.

Kisumu Brain Trust (KBT) is a network of organizations working on girl child programs in Migori, Kisumu and Siaya Counties.

Kmet’‘s major role is to capacity build the partners in advocacy to enhance their impact at the community level on Adolescent Sexual Reproductive Health Rights(ASRHR).

By Lynette Ouma