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.

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