HEALTH CARE AND NUTRITION PROGRAM
Good health is essential to every human being. Healthy people /Nation feel better and can play a more active role in society. Unfortunately quality health care is not universally available. In Kenya (poor rural areas) in particular ,there are thousands of poor people from different communities all over who do not have access to decent health care .There is high rate of premature death, ill health, child mortality among other diseases which needed more attention.
RHD as an organization is focused to bring down the rate of maternal mortality ratio for women, reduce child mortality, and stop the spread of diseases such as HIV/AIDS, malaria, tuberculosis among other diseases. In Kenya, most people in rural areas face major obstacles in obtaining adequate health care, including a shortage of doctors and medicines, high costs of treatment at available government hospitals, and long distances to clinics. The toll from malaria and other preventable diseases, especially on young children, is high.
We involve our efforts in implementing the following initiatives:
- Health System Strengthening (HSS) Support: Through collaboration with local private and public key actors on health, RHD has been implementing key activities such as; Technical assistance provided to key stakeholders in need of expert support, Non-routine training of family planning providers – this include training of Community Health Assistants (CHAs), Advocacy -including evidence-based advocacy through a pilot project (for example, gather evidence through a pilot on the positive effects of youth-friendly FP services, Increasing access for hard to reach and marginalized groups, including adolescents and youth, and in post-crisis contexts.
- Improving Treatment and Care for Children and People Living with HIV: RHD implement and monitor intervention models that focus to find people infected with HIV and children exposed to HIV which are not found by the conventional health system approach. Through a proper working relationship with both private and public owned healthcare facilities, this approach has enabled us to reach and improve over 11,980 women’s, children’s and adolescents’ health and to find more children living with HIV that don’t know their status yet, and to find them as early as possible. Of course this also includes a strong focus on PMTCT and the prevention of HIV in children. Our programs in this category are combined with both a research component and a service delivery component. As from 2013, we have implemented the following key activities related to HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria: Conducted a confidential counseling and testing program in Lambwe-Homabay county linked with evidence based behavioral change and building programs to reduce mother-to-child transmission; health outreach activity in Mbita town- Homabay county focusing on improving the care and treatment of HIV/AIDS, sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and related opportunistic infections by improving STI management; conducted slum HIV program to provide anti-retroviral therapy (ART) within Manyatta, Obunga Nyawita and Kondele in Kisumu County. Since then, the program has reached over 10,000 beneficiaries. We also look forward to implement/carry out interventions for inter-current diseases impacting HIV infected patients including tuberculosis (TB); Strengthening the capacity of health actors within Kenya to collect and use surveillance data and manage national HIV/AIDS programs by expanding HIV/STI/TB surveillance programs and strengthening laboratory support for surveillance, diagnosis, treatment, disease monitoring and HIV screening for blood safety; and Developing, validating and/or evaluating public health programs to inform, improve and target appropriate interventions, as related to the prevention, care and treatment of HIV/AIDS, TB and opportunistic infections.
- Maternal and Neonatal Health Program: As mortality rates remain high in Kenya. The main causes are: HIV/AIDS (29.3%), prenatal conditions (9.0%), lower respiratory infections (8.1%), Tuberculosis (TB) (6.3%), diarrhea (6.0%) and malaria at (5.8%) among others. Maternal deaths remain a major challenge. One half of mothers are anaemic with an uptake of recommended iron supplements during pregnancy below 3 per cent. The use of skilled birth attendance at delivery stands at low level. Maternal mortality in rural areas is significantly high compared to urban areas. The dominant poor pregnancy outcome in the rural communities in Kenya is due to lack of adequate knowledge on pregnancy complications, delay in patient presentation, and delay in treatment of the obstetric emergencies that can be easily treated even if they may not always be preventable.
Through partnership with public and county governments, RHD has been helping in the collection and distribution of insecticides Treated Nets (ITNs) to children and pregnant women both in peri-urban slums and rural communities; conducting seminars and workshops on child malnutrition placing much focus on mothers and children under the age of five due to long-term under-nutrition. Our next focus is to ensure that women of the reproductive age, particularly poor rural women and adolescent girls are supported through a consolidated partnership with health management teams, health facilities and community units to identify and develop innovative health solutions that bring together diverse expertise and recognise the value of local knowledge and experience to develop sustainable solutions in reducing maternal and newborn mortality.
- Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights program: RHD partnered with the county government of Turkana and implemented a youth focused sexual and reproductive health rights program in Turkana. This was aimed at advancing sexual and reproductive health and rights among young people living around Lake Turkana. The project targeted adolescent/youth because their participation is critical to improving sexual and reproductive health outcomes and realizing global initiatives such as Family Planning in particular, goals and commitments that relate specifically to adolescent and youth sexual and reproductive health (AYSRH). This has contributed to building a strong and stable sexual and reproductive health and rights champions among policymakers, leaders, organizations, and individuals within Turkana through knowledge sharing and evidence-building to meet youth contraceptive needs.