Where are the men of Sigomere, Siaya County?

IMG_0134The role of a man-husband even in the bible starts with leadership, same applies to the traditional roles of men and women who were established to ensure the power of the head of household.

But what happens when it comes to accessing health services? This is a question I ask myself when you visit health facilities only to meet long queues of women and no man at all.

According to the report by the Commission for Revenue Allocations in the year 2013, Siaya is noted in top ten with people living with HIV/AIDs (100,400) and with highest infection too coming at number four after Kisumu, Homa bay and Nairobi Counties.

Despite having such a large number, it is still evidence that residents of Siaya County still shy off going for HIV/AIDS testing and counselling despite the services being offered for free and at their door steps.

To reach the undeserved community with accessible, sustainable quality health and education is the only Kmet’s commitment. That is why we hit the roads to reach out to Sigomere residents in Siaya County for HIV and AIDS Testing and Counselling, Cervical Cancer screening, TB screening as well as give them health talk and emphasize on the importance of having quality health.

To our astonishment, a larger number of those who came for the services were women of around 35 years and above. This left us asking, where are the men of this county, how about sons and daughters of the women who came for the services?

HIV testing and counselling, cervical cancer screening and TB screening forms a gateway for proper care, treatment and needed support for the persons in need.

That is why we encourage people who might have doubts about their health history to visit health facilities for verification because;
· It is proven that early and regular cervical cancer screening reduces incidences of maternal mortality as late stage at which women get diagnosed reduces their chances of survival.
· Early HIV diagnosis means a healthier life since you protect yourself as well as your partner hence avoid being infected of other sex related infections, and lastly you will be able to make right decisions such as if to have more children and take precaution measures to ensure the child is not either affected among other things.
· According to reports in the medical literature and CDC surveillance data, the Advisory Council for the Elimination of Tuberculosis (ACET), People who are in close contact with person suspected to have TB, persons infected by HIV, people who inject themselves with illicit drugs, infants and medically underserved-low income populations are at high risk of contracting TB hence should be screened.

As much as accessing the services should be voluntary it still important to embrace them as we visualize a community where there is accessible, sustainable quality health and education services and facilities.

That is why we urge everyone regardless the age and gender to know their health history to live healthy.

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KMET Microfinance relaunches to reach the underserved

KMET CEO, Monica Oguttu the patron to the Microfinance cuts the tape during the relaunch

KMET CEO, Monica Oguttu the patron to the Microfinance cuts the tape during the relaunch

KMET KMET Microfinance was set up in 2004 as a self-sustaining strategy to empower KMET network members economically. It largely drew membership from community health volunteers (CHVs) and hospitals affiliated to KMET the NGO.

Community health volunteers were the main target population since they do not have stable income yet they offer critical health services to communities. KMET works directly with over 1000 community volunteers across the counties.

The micro finance operations were later transferred to the KMET Sacco in 2011, which then had the capacity to handle the ballooning needs of the members.

August 2 2015 saw the re-launch of KMET Microfinance delinking its activities from the KMET Sacco and the mother organization.

Senior Business Advisor, Amos Vele says this is a step to tailor-make financial solutions for small businesses and low-income earners whose needs might not be catered for by the SACCO or other credit facilities.

“We are in the business of improving socio –economic conditions of self-help groups through economic activities, “he says. He further adds that the institution is prioritizing women’s involvement in economic opportunities.

“There is a huge potential among women because many of them are unbanked and still majority of them have a higher capacity to save compared to the menfolk,” he reiterated.

KMET Microfinance has products like Nawiri loan tailored for small businesses, which has low interest rates and flexible repayment periods.

Alongside this are other products like Tiba Mashinani, a healthcare package aiming to finance small clinics and pharmacies that need to upgrade and improve services.

A product in the pipeline is the Mshahara loan for salaried members who would wish to take loans based on their pay slips and asset financing which will finance members to purchase assets.

The future is bright with the microfinance institution planning to make inroads in mobile banking, internet banking and an improved customer service not forgetting an expansion plan to reach more clients

To know more about the products  get in touch with

Amos on cell 0722 127 893

And Dan on cell 0726870104

Long Acting Reversible Contraceptives: the choice for young people

Participants during a group discussion

Participants during a group discussion

Most young people who are sexually active more often opt for short term contraceptive methods in order to prevent pregnancy.

In fact, it is no longer news that majority are frequently using the emergency pills despite the adverse effect of a possible ectopic pregnancy in future.

Some of those using pills and condoms on the other hand are not consistent resulting to unwanted pregnancies and of course, unsafe abortions and its related problems.

Unto them that are on injection (depo), they face the risk of delayed return to fertility. Do young people really have a choice when it comes to contraceptive methods?

Young people do have convenient and efficient contraceptive choices but most of them either have no idea or have inaccurate information concerning the methods.

It is in this light that KMET under the CTG program trained youth peer providers from Kisumu, Migori and Siaya Counties on Long acting reversible contraceptives (LARC) and how effective and convenient they are for young people.

According to Caro Nyandat, KMET RH Coordinator, LARC especially non hormonal IUD saves young people from delayed return to fertility and frequent visits to a health facility.

Moreover, young people escape the hook of pregnancy as a result of inconsistency when using the everyday pills.

Caro also noted that majority of those using the non-hormonal IUD do not experience abnormal monthly periods or weight changes as it has been reported by those on hormonal methods.

The youth peer providers are expected to disseminate information on the convenience of implants and IUD in pregnancy prevention, especially to the young people who always assume these methods are meant for older people.

The 5 days training which took place in Bondo was facilitated by RH Coordinator Caro Nyandat, Kepha Ogalo, Teddy Brian and Peter Victor who are peer educators.

By Lynette Ouma

Raped or defiled, what you need to do.

Gender Violence  Recovery Centre at Jaramogi Oginga Odinga Teaching and Referral Hospital

Gender Violence Recovery Centre at Jaramogi Oginga Odinga Teaching and Referral Hospital

More often than not when one is defiled or raped they become helpless. Life suddenly becomes unbearable and the thought of seeking justice is far-fetched. This happens because survivors suffer stigma. It should not be the case, one needs to report and legal action taken to stop these heinous acts. You could be wondering how to I go about this, well here is how.
In case of Rape
• Don’t take a bath. Even though it is a natural reaction to want to wash, do not take a shower or bath as this may destroy vital evidence needed in your case.
• Do not change your clothes as these may carry blood, semen and other bodily fluid which can be used as evidence. If you have to change clothes, DO NOT keep clothes in a PLASTIC BAG.
• If you can manage, do not go to the toilet or brush your teeth.
• Don’t drink any alcohol or take any medication before going to the police since this can influence the outcome of the medical examination, and you will also need to make a statement.
• Contact a friend/family member you trust for support. The first person you tell about the rape is called the first witness. This person may need to make a statement to the police about your condition and if possible, should accompany you to the hospital/police station.
• See a doctor first
• It is recommended that you visit the nearest clinic, hospital or doctor first. It is preferable to not visit a family doctor as he/she may not be trained for this type of medical investigation. The doctor must be willing to testify in court.
• Report to a police station and record a statement. Make sure you take the OB number.

Dealing with the police
Initially only a brief statement is required from you. Make sure you read over the statement before signing it. You can provide a more detailed statement later.

You must get the P3 Form. The Kenya Police Medical Examination form, popularly known as P3, is provided free of charge at our police stations. It is used to request for medical examination from a Medical Officer of Health, in order to determine the nature and extent of bodily injury sustained by a complainant(s) in assault cases. Part I of the form must be filled by the Police Officer requesting medical examination.

Part II must be filled by a Medical Officer or Practitioner carrying out the examination giving medical details. This form is a government document and must be returned to the police for use in adducing evidence in court. Once the P3 form is filled in at the police station, the complainant is escorted by a police officer to a medical officer or practitioner for examination. The form becomes an exhibit once produced in court.

At the police station you have the right to:
• Make your statement in a private room
• Make your statement to a female officer (if there is one)
• Make your statement in your own language
• Have a friend/family member with you for support
• Get a copy of your affidavit (you are entitled by law), name of the investigating officer and case number.
• Get the OB number of the police station you can call to check progress on your case.

• If a suspect has been caught, make sure they inform you of a bail application. You have no right to testify at the bail application, but you can find out the name of the prosecutor and the court where the hearing will take place.
• You can approach the Chief Prosecutor or Prosecutor in charge of Sexual Offences before the bail hearing and disclose your fears if the suspect is released on bail.

What happens during the medical examination?
Try and remember. Provide as much details as you can of the incident to the doctor examining you. This may serve as useful evidence.

Rape kit
The doctor needs to complete a rape kit, this includes taking note of any injuries, scrapings under finger nails, evidence of sperm from your vagina and looking for possible DNA.
No male officer may be present at the examination and once again, you have the right to have a friend or relative with you to support you.

It is important to get PEP within 72 hours of penetration, attempted penetration, oral sex, or anal sex to reduce the possibility of contracting HIV.
Before getting the medication, you will need to undergo an HIV test.

STDs and pregnancy
During the first doctor’s examination you may need to take in quite a lot of medication. Doctors may prescribe medicines to prevent sexually transmitted diseases and further infections such as hepatitis, and to prevent pregnancy.
If you are already pregnant when you are raped, talk to the doctor about the possibilities of your unborn baby becoming infected with HIV.

Forensic evidence
Doctors may ask for your clothes and other evidence which will be sealed in a paper, not plastic bag. Plastic bags can cause degradation of biological material (such as semen) as a result of the heat in the bag.
All evidence is entered into a special police crime kit.

Getting support
Rape Trauma Syndrome (RTS) is a form of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) that often affects rape survivors. This psychological disorder can be very debilitating. It is important to get some form of support or counselling after being raped, as you will have many emotions and concerns that you will need to work through.

If you are in Kisumu you can visit Gender Violence Recovery Centre at Jaramogi Oginga Odinga Teaching and Referral Hospital (Russia)

Call us for free on 0800724500 or contact these numbers for help; Child line Kenya-116 and Health Assistance Kenya-1195.

Help us break the silence on such instances of human rights violation by sharing your story with us. It is through the documented cases that we can demonstrate how real the situation is and influence programs to support survivors