Family Planning Use in East Africa

Family Planning Use in East Africa

Family planning (FP) is critical in the promotion of community health. It is an intervention that is proven to save lives and foster development. Research supports the notion that family planning is directly linked to improvement in maternal and child health in addition to socio-economic progress. Understanding the unmet need for family planning services is key to improving worldwide reproductive health. During the last three decades in East Africa, research shows that Kenya and Rwanda are clear leaders in regards to access to and use of contraception. These two countries have a history of implementing targeted and focused programs to improve access to FP services. FP differs in each country in ways such as the amount of methods offered and the extent to which each method is available. Across the sub-region there is an increase in the use of modern contraceptives. But, a steady proportion of women in Ethiopia, Rwanda, and Tanzania are still using traditional methods. While short-term contraception is frequent in the sub-region, there is...
Read More
WORLD CONTRACEPTION DAY CELEBRATION AT KISUMU COUNTY

WORLD CONTRACEPTION DAY CELEBRATION AT KISUMU COUNTY

World Contraception Day annually takes place on September 26th. The worldwide campaign is centered on a vision where every pregnancy is planned and wanted. This year, Kisumu County joined the rest of the world in celebration at the Simba Opepo Dispensary. County officials and over 10 partners attended, with Deputy Governor Dr. Mathews Owino as the chief guest; he expressed commitment to the county leadership and its growth. The community came together to promote and echo important actions on Family Planning (FP) and contraceptives, improve awareness on contraception, and enable young people to make informed reproductive health choices. Healthcare workers were encouraged to support clients in selecting appropriate FP methods and discussing possible side effects. There is a need in the community for counseling on correct methods and their associated potential warning signs. Further, the celebration called for the mentoring of healthcare workers in order for them to have the right attitude towards youths. This attitude will allow patients to freely walk into...
Read More
Notes from the Field: Equipping Kenya County Health Facilities Remains a Challenge

Notes from the Field: Equipping Kenya County Health Facilities Remains a Challenge

Cryotherapy is a method used to destroy precancerous cells to keep them from turning into cancer later on. According to medical experts, early detection and treatment of cervical cancer has demonstrated to dramatically improve the chances of survival. This is good news, as cervical cancer remains the most prevalent form of cancer in women in many developing countries, Kenya included and worst more to HIV+ women who are more likely to suffer from this type of cancer due to compromised immunity. There have been concerted efforts by both the Kenyan government and the private sector to raise awareness and scale up screening and treatment services across the country, which has led to a steady rise and improvement in treatment facilities. The ability of a patient to attend a screening clinic and to return to clinic follow-up evaluation and possible treatment is an important component to the success of a screening program.  Once she surpasses the myriad barriers she may face in understanding...
Read More

Notes from the Field: “If only I stepped up to the gate of a school” life could have been better

Reproductive health remains a health problem in Sub-Saharan Africa, Kenya included. Unless efforts to reduce maternal and newborn mortality and morbidity, improving access to family planning, and preventing HIV infection are scaled up, the majority of Kenyans remain at risk for poor health outcomes. Women face unsafe abortions, early marriage, and various forms of gender-based violence. They suffer silently from sexually transmitted diseases that make them vulnerable to cervical cancer and infertility, without access to the simple preventive measures like screening and vaccination. My experience working directly in the community and in health facilities has given me the opportunity to interact with various partners and many disadvantaged young men and women. Listening to their stories of teenage pregnancy, their beliefs in myths related to use of contraception, and experiences with HIV has made me keen to understand and try to address issues related to reproductive health. I met "Aisha" (not her real name) when her child was enrolled in a study I...
Read More
Reports from the Field: Freedom House, a Safe Space supported by KMET

Reports from the Field: Freedom House, a Safe Space supported by KMET

By Faith Otewa: One of our goals of the Center is to highlight some of the important work in Sexual and Reproductive Health taking place in Kisumu and Nyanza. We were thrilled to sit down with the Director of KMET (Kisumu Medical and Education Trust), a Kisumu-based NGO working to promote innovative and sustainable reproductive health and education programs among underserved communities. KMET works in the areas of Maternal, Child, Adolescent and Child Health, livelihoods and nutrition, education and youth/adolescent empowerment and quality healthcare financing. The organization has adopted an integrated model to provide a holistic care to women by offering specialized diagnostic services like Family Planning Services (FP), Immunization, and HIV Testing, Cervical Cancer Screening and Laboratory services. A well-stocked dispensing pharmacy is also in place. KMET also houses a Youth Friendly Clinic for its youthful clients of reproductive age. The services offered at the center are affordable. With growing evidence that a substantial number of girls, children and women in Kisumu...
Read More