KMET Partners With Bungoma County Office of the First Lady to Improve Livelihoods

The office of the Bungoma County First Lady is partnering with KMET in a community project that will see improved child health, increased enrolment and retention of the children in school.

The project supported by Dr. Margaret Makelo, the Bungoma County First Lady is establishing a fundraising Kitty that will facilitate provision of sanitary pads to girls aged between 10 -24 years in over 1000 schools within the county.
In addition the Kitty will facilitate provision of nutriflour to every child below five years who visits a health facility in a move to combat malnutrition. Every child in a public nursery school will also be able to get a mug of nutriflour porridge every day.

Bungoma County first lady Dr. Margaret Makelo Lusaka with KMET staff when she callled in at KMET offices

Bungoma County first lady Dr. Margaret Makelo Lusaka with KMET staff when she callled in at KMET offices

Bungoma County first lady Dr. Margaret Makelo Lusaka with KMET staff and some of the supplies produced by KMET

Bungoma County first lady Dr. Margaret Makelo Lusaka with KMET staff and some of the supplies produced by KMET

Another component of the project will facilitate capacity building seminars to eradicate jiggers, reduce HIV/AIDS infections in the community as well as equipping the youth with basic life skills.
Dr. Margaret said the initiative will also include senior members of the society by engaging community health workers who will ensure that those above 80 years are taken care of at the comfort of their home.

Skip a lunch campaign
Bungoma county residents who are estimated at 1,500,000 persons are being approached to contribute to the kitty by skipping lunch once a month. By sparing KES 10 during lunch, the county will collect KES 15 million every month towards the project.
“By skipping a meal you are not only performing an act of solidarity with us but also raising money towards a solution to myriad problems in Bungoma County,” encouraged the first lady while speaking at KMET offices.

KMET will provide reusable sanitary towels as well and community capacity building services in the project that will be officially launched in June 2014.
You can contact the office of the first lady via email at bungomacountygovt@gmail.com/ magmakelo@yahoo.com or call 0715 757 501/ 055-30343.

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KMET TECHNICAL SUPPORT PARTNERS- MEDICAL CREDIT FUND WINS INTERNATIONAL AWARD

Medical Credit Fund (MCF) was on March 12th 2014 awarded by OPIC (Overseas Private Investments Corporation) in the category of Access to Finance. This was in recognition of the role they play in providing affordable loans and technical assistance for small and medium-sized healthcare providers in Africa.

Beth Cobert Monique Dolfing-Vogelenzang Jennifer Pryce and Francis Kelly with the Medical Credit Fund OPIC Impact Award.

Beth Cobert Monique Dolfing-Vogelenzang Jennifer Pryce and Francis Kelly with the Medical Credit Fund OPIC Impact Award.

The Amsterdam based MCF (to which KMET together with PSK, APHTA, Hygea Foundation and Marie Stopes International are technical assistance partners) was awarded during the first ever impact awards held at the US Chamber Of Commerce In Washington DC and it’s the first ever socially marketed financial service, financing healthcare in African countries.

Speaking at the awards, MCF Managing Director, Monique Dolfing Vogelenzang said, “We are incredibly honored to have been recognized by this award”.

Medical Credit Fund seeks to improve provision of healthcare by targeting small privately owned clinics in business and quality training, clinics learn how to develop their business potential and how to improve the quality of their healthcare services. At the same time, access to capital allows them to purchase modern equipment, hire expert staff, make basic repairs or expand their facilities.

These clinics are targeted because they provide 50% of healthcare services in Africa and are staple for low and middle income populations. MCF is present in other African countries including Tanzania, Nigeria, Uganda and Ghana.

Mr. Odero, Otieno Martin, Head of Business Medical Credit Fund at KMET says KMET has so far recruited 172 private facilities in the quality improvement program and offered them entry loans amounting to 42,950,000 KES and medium loans amounting to 145,345,000 KES towards improvement of health care in those private facilities.

KMET OPENS ADULT SCHOOL

Starting next term, KMET’s Education Project unveils an improved adult education Centre. The new Centre, which will be open to adults and other primary school dropouts of both sexes, is focused on achieving higher literacy levels among the Kenyan population

Being an improvement/expansion of the existing remedial catch-up classes that previously focused only on teenage mothers who dropped out of primary school, it will continue to offer the primary school curriculum leading up to KCPE.
The current catch-up class carries 20 students while last year’s class had 10 students sit for KCPE with half of them joining secondary schools.

Remedial catch-up classroom

Remedial catch-up classroom

The only variation in the new program is that the students will have to pay a fee of 1000shillings per month (subject to revision) and an admission fee of 500shillings. This is because the previous class was under UNICEF sponsorship and was thus free.

KMET ‘s education project also currently runs an ECD and Daycare Centre.

Article by Joanne Rakwach

Engaging Men in Reproductive Health: Hundreds of women set to benefit from KMET’s new project

Some 900,000 women in 6 counties in Western Kenya are set to benefit from KMET’s new project set to roll out this month. The project dubbed Tetea Uke Salama (TUS) seeks to increase male involvement in promoting women’s access to reproductive health and post abortion care.mdg

The news that KMET’s Tetea Uzazi Salama (Advocacy for safe motherhood) proposal has been accepted by its partners-Planned Parenthood comes at a time when there’s urgent need to focus on reversing trends on low contraceptive useamong women in western Kenya.

Speaking about it today at the KMET staff briefing, Deputy CEO Sam Owoko said, “These interventions are now more than ever necessary and need to be reinforced every now and then”.

In Western Kenya the contraceptive prevalence rate (CPR) among women aged 15-49 is at 33% compared to the national CPR of 46% (KDHS, 2008/2009). This means that there are very many teenagers and young women who are vulnerable to unplanned pregnancy and unsafe abortion.

This scenario usually result into untimed pregnancies and unsafe abortion which is the major cause of maternal morbidity and mortality in Kenya.

The 3 year project seeks to engage men more actively in a region where the legal foundation for access to post abortion care is unclear to the masses and gender norms affect male involvement in reproductive health.

Men will be engaged in the reproductive health of the woman through the media, community conversations and value clarification and attitude change forums this will in turn increase the proportion of populations reached with education on RH, effects and risks of unsafe abortion and what is allowed under the 2010 Constitution.

Training of Private and Public Healthcare Workers in Reproductive Health

In addition, the project will focus on training the healthcare provider on quality service delivery and proper documentation of the reproductive health service delivery process and elements like numbers reached, contraceptive use etc.

KMET aims at increasing by 30 % the number of facilities implementing the national Standards and Guidelines for reducing morbidity and mortality from unsafe abortion.

According to a 2006 study journal titled Millennium development goal 5: a review of maternal mortality at the Kenyatta National Hospital, Nairobi, improving maternal health by reducing maternal mortality and morbidity is currently the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) with the least progress in Kenya and tackling unsafe abortion is thus key to the country’s attainment of the MDG.

KMET’s HUDUMA POA CLINICS EMBRACE M-HEALTH WALLET

At KMET, we strive hard to offer our clients quality and affordable healthcare and its with this promise in mind that we are now offering clients a new option in ensuring healthcare remains a priority.

This will be done through the newly conceived M-Health Wallet(Mobile Wallet Health Technical Usability Project), which is a mobile money savings program that enables a client to save up to a maximum of 4000shillings in their mobile phones (Safaricom lines) to cater for their usual and emergency medical expenses.

Photo courtesy of www.openideo.com

Photo courtesy of http://www.openideo.com

A partnership between Pharm Access, Safaricom, AAR, KMET will be part of this project as a provider of medical infrastructure through its Huduma Poa Health Network linked clinics such as Sagam Community Hospital, Corkran Health Complex And Support Partners Like Bama, Masaba ,Ahero Medical Center And Godswill. Other clinics included in the program but no directly affiliated to KMEt include; Avenue Hospital.

This money is non-withdrawable at any other place and can only be transferred by the client to the registered pay-bill numbers of the specific listed clinics and hospitals for purposes of medical expenses. This is because a special account is created for the purposes of this project so as to reduce fraud and unnecessary withdrawals.

For every top up into the account, a bonus of 100% of the deposited amount is awarded and one can only deposit up-to a maximum of 4000 every six months. After the lapse of this period, all the unused deposit is refunded excluding the bonus.

Article by: Joanne Rakwach

LACK OF FAMILY PLANNING KNOWLEDGE MADE MY LIFE MISERABLE, MOTHER SAYS

The 38 year old mother of four who turned into a grandmother two years ago, confesses that family planning information has changed her life.  Jerusa Peters believes she is one of the biggest benefactors of Huduma Poa Heath Network services in Nyamira County.

She has been married for 21 years and is a mother of four children, three boys and a girl. Like many other women, she says she was ignorant on how to space child bearing a fact that she points out to have made her formative days miserable.

Jerusa and her spouse Joram Nyalika, 50 years old, got married at an early age while Jerusa was still in her teens. The two lived in Meru for a short

Mayaka (left) one of the KMET Huduma Poa community health workers introduces Jerusa (right) to  KMET field officers

Mayaka (left) one of the KMET Huduma Poa community health workers introduces Jerusa (right) to KMET field officers

while before they decided to come back to Joram’s ancestral home in Bobangi Village in Nyamira since they did not have any meaningful source of income in Meru.

During this period the two were expecting their first born and life in the village was challenging as they had neither a house nor a steady source of income and had to put up in relative’s houses.

Jerusa says the situation got even worse when she gave birth to twin baby boys, now 24. “I was overwhelmed, I realized I had two young children, I could barely afford food and was yet to move out to start building my home,” she sombrely recalls.

Jerusa and her husband decided to erect and move out in a makeshift structure in the husband’s piece of land as they purposed to build a home later. The husband had to take odd jobs in the village to make ends meet.

Just a year later the couple learnt that they were expecting another child which they confess gave them mixed reactions: one they could barely sustain their basic needs and two they were happy to have a baby girl join the family.

Juggling between being a mother, casual labourer and small scale farmer Jerusa’s health deteriorated so much and says she even thought she was HIV positive and just when she was recovering, the inevitable happened, she got another baby, a boy.

One concerned relative advised her to visit any hospital for a family planning method and six months after delivery she was put on injectable contraceptive; which she confesses to have had adverse effects on her weight and bleeding.

“For a year I went for injections which were costing me 150 KES after every 3 months , I grew bigger and gained weight but I didn’t have any other alternative,” she explains.

Jerusa, leads a team of Community Health Workers to her home after a community mobilization near her village

Jerusa, leads a team of Community Health Workers to her home after a community mobilization near her village

This was however to change when she met a neighbor who works as a Huduma Poa Community Health Worker in Nyamira. They had a chat and invited the CHW to talk to her husband too.

After couple counselling the two settled for a long term method and were referred for IUCD insertion and for cervical cancer screening at no fee.

Speaking to KMET field officers last month, Jerusa was delighted saying that she since lives with peace of mind knowing she has control of when to give birth and can focus on building a better life for herself and family.

Her parting shot went to her daughter 23 who is a mother to a two year old baby boy: “if you want to live a better life than your father and I follow these Huduma Poa people and get a family planning method.”

Working With rural Communities in Health Promotion: Beatrice’s Experiences and Lessons

Beatrice Akinyi has served as a Demand Creation Officer at the APHIAplus Health Communications and Marketing Program for 3 years. She shares experiences, challenges and lessons she has encountered in the field as she carries out health promotion in the remote areas of Kenya.

Beatrice Akinyi engages tea pickers in Nyamira in anhealth talk

Beatrice Akinyi engages tea pickers in Nyamira in anhealth talk

As a Demand Creation Officer covering parts of Southern Nyanza and South Rift Valley, I have come in to contact with different communities whose diverse cultures influence their mentality on reproductive health and family planning.

The most common communities I interact with include the Luo, Abagusii, Kalenjins and Maasai thus giving me quite a vast understanding of the diverse cultures and their attitudes towards family planning.

In Giribe, Migori County we noted that most of Huduma Poa mobilization meetings would be attended majorly by men and the same was noted by health workers during house visits where  men would speak and dominate discussions on family planning on behalf of their wives. The men have the ultimate say and therefore, all decisions are made by men even those that do concern the woman.

It was heart wrenching to find that girls as young as 14 are married and by age 18, most of them have about 2 to 3 children. On event days, the women would show up late in the afternoon because their husbands are not for the idea of family planning and would therefore double their duties at home before they are finally released.

Every societal group is fighting to have a piece of the Kenyan political power pie. It came to our attention that most communities see numbers as a visible proof of political power and they improperly believe that family planning stands in the way of having  key political figures elected from their region. We found this to be a tough wall to crumble since it has been etched in their minds for so long. With such kind of mentality, it takes extra effort and patience to change the  community’s attitudes towards family planning.

Beatrice Akinyi (right) makes a follow up on a client

Beatrice Akinyi (right) makes a follow up on a client

These communities operate under set rules; for example, in the Maasai community, one is not allowed to question a woman on the number of children she has therefore posing quite a challenge in probing for information during counseling. Women in these areas tend to be quite submissive and loyal to the laws of the land making counseling even more difficult.

Well, there’s a silver lining in every dark cloud, in some of the communities, we receive heroic reception when they finally realize the benefits contraceptive information has had in their families and the community at large.

Community Health Workers have come in handy in achieving such results as they continually do follow ups and information sharing even in the rigid communities; helping women and men to gradually embrace family planning.DSC06119

Lessons:

Being a Program Officer I have learnt that it is fruitful to reach out to community members through the Ministry of Health and local leaders as one is able to work along with other development partners and have the goodwill of the government.

Participating in activities such as community meetings and dialogue and stake holders’ action days also gives one an upper hand in winning the community’s trust.

Finally, organizing a series of health talks helps communities to gradually open up to new ideas and share their views on each. This kind of healthy discussion builds trust between community and the field officers as well as among themselves.