I had the opportunity to meet with Harun, the Head of Programs at the Omega Foundation (OF) at the Kisumu Office. The OF mission is, “to strengthen the capacity of communities to live meaningful lives through integrated health and innovative livelihood solutions” across 12 counties in Kenya: Kisumu, Siaya, Migori, Homa Bay, Busia, Bungoma, Nandi, Uasin-Gishu, Kakamega, Vihiga, and Bomet.
OF undertakes various projects including Sexual and Reproductive Health Service Delivery and Advocacy projects funded by Planned Parenthood Global. The projects are being implemented in Kisumu, Siaya, and Homa Bay counties respectively with an objective to increase awareness of, access to, and use of quality family planning (FP) and Post Abortion Care (PAC) services. Twenty facilities in Kisumu are supported in delivery of the services and focus on strengthening the capacity of partners to provide facility-based FP and PAC services and advocate for expansion of Sexual and Reproductive Health (SRH) rights and services.
To achieve their goals, the OF supports provision of both equipment like examination beds, speculums and consumables like intrauterine devices (IUDs), implants IVI kits, and they offer safe abortion services. The OF also supports the Ministry of Health (MoH) staff who complement their work at the various facilities.
To create an environment that will help the OF deliver its vision, it closely works with partners like the County Government in mentoring the RH Coordinators, KMET, Matibabu Foundation, NAYA and Nyarami VCT, and partially worked with Red Cross. It also works with community mechanisms that already exist; hence, Community Health Volunteers (CHVs) play an integral part. The CHVs are attached to health facilities as youth peer providers, create awareness in their communities on OF work, and do follow ups and referrals like reaching out to more community members.