World Contraceptives Day

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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.

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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

KMET holds training for advocacy on unsafe abortion

The participants in group photo. They agreed to solidify efforts in advocacy on unsafe abortion. which is one of the causes of maternal deaths.

The participants in group photo. They agreed to solidify efforts in advocacy on unsafe abortion. which is one of the causes of maternal deaths.

“It’s time to break the silence on unsafe abortion, we are losing our women to conditions that are preventable,” this was the clarion call made by the Executive Director KMET, Monica Oguttu during the advocacy on unsafe abortion training held in Kisumu.
Outlining the five causes of maternal deaths to be; severe bleeding, obstructed labour, infection, unsafe abortion and high blood pressure emphasis was made to contain the rates of unsafe abortion.
The participants drawn from the three counties of Kisumu, Migori and Siaya counties were enthusiastic to be involved in such a forum. With experience in advocacy spanning two years and others even fourteen
Under the CTG program this meeting was to strengthen the understanding of the partners in unsafe abortion advocacy and the implementation process.
Kmet deputy CEO, Sam Owoko was upbeat that KMET and the partners would work in concert to achieve the set objectives.
“The partners in CtG must closely work together because advocacy isn’t a one-man show it’s a process and requires teamwork,” he said while facilitating at the training. Adding that, KMET would lay ground and offer technical and moral support.
During the training the participants in group task were to formulate advocacy plans. In the process they grasped the need to first identify an issue, set objectives before rolling out their plans.
As part of the open session there were general concerns there is still apathy especially on contraceptives. In certain areas many adolescents were still engaging in unsafe sex contributing to unplanned pregnancies.
It was imminent there is opposition with religious belief a factor in stopping the access to reproductive health services in the three counties.
Rallying the support of the members of the county assembly was offered as a solution to influence county and national governments policies.
“We at KMET have had meetings with the governor Homa-Bay County to paint to him the grim picture and show how we can work together,” said Sam Owoko.
It’s important to engage with this cadre of persons since they have the legislative capacity which sometimes we are required to influence, he added.
The Executive Director, at the closing session had kind words for the participants for their patience and showing the zeal to commence advocating. She said they needed to invigorate themselves and pursue advocacy on unsafe abortion
Reiterating KMETs support, she said they will walk together with the partners and always be on hand to assist where necessary.
By Don King

KMET’S ECD center gives an 18 year old a gateway to literacy

By Lynette Ouma
As schools reopen for the third term session, a new dawn begins for an 18 year old boy who has decided to pursue his education starting from the ECD level at KMET’s ECD Center which also offers adult classes.
Felix Ouma, who has been raised by a single mother at Kanyakwar area, said he dropped out of ECD since he could not put up with some school rules such as working on teacher’s farms and took to menial jobs at an early age of seven.
As he narrates his story in his new class, Felix says he learnt electrical and dj skills from a friend but then he can’t read or write the names of important equipment nor operate a computer which is very vital in the dj industry, thus the drive to go back to school.
“Every wire has a name in the electrical profession yet I cannot read or write” he laments.
Felix added that he has to start his classes in the afternoon since he has to work in the morning to get cash to fend for himself; more reason he never opted for a normal school, besides the many rules he still abhors.
Unlike many people who look forward to lucrative white collar jobs after education, he just wants to complete high school and then perfect the dj and electrical skills he already has.
He says the choice to be literate especially for those who never had the chance to go to school at an early stage, depends on the line of work one is involved in.

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Felix Ouma being taught different sounds by his teacher Janet Aluoch.

KMET reaches out to MCAs to solidify support on maternal health

KMET Executive Director,Monica Oguttu making a presentation during the meeting. She underlined the need for the county government to harness health policies  and services

KMET Executive Director,Monica Oguttu making a presentation during the meeting. She underlined the need for the county government to harness health policies and services

KMET organized a meeting with Members of County Assembly Kisumu to strengthen their capacity on issues surrounding maternal and child health. The meeting brought together around forty participants drawn from the media, county assembly and the technical working group.

The focus was on the role of partners in maternal health, developing a draft roadmap for maternal health advocacy within the county of Kisumu.

The Executive Director KMET, Monica Oguttu gave a harrowing story of a man who had lost his wife during delivery. This was to outline the grim picture especially the need for information on maternal mortality.

She emphasized the need for a multiple level intervention involving community, health facilities and policy makers.

The Director implored the MCAs to make Kisumu County a model in reference to improved maternal health indicators

As one of the top five contributors to maternal mortality, unsafe abortion did not miss on the agenda.

Citing the solutions among them contraception, adolescent ASRH services, male involvement, community education and women empowerment.

There was also insights into new partnership especially through the Bima Poa Plus to reduce out of pocket expenditure for healthcare. KMET proposed the adoption of a 50-50 cost bearing ratio as a way to improve maternal and health indicators.

The innovative telemedicine project, Huduma Poa Sky also brought into focus the need to widen the access to healthcare through tele-consultations targeting rural mothers and the masses.

By Don King