Championing Maternal Health in Homa Bay County: KMET Holds Post Abortion Care training for Providers

Championing maternal health in Homa Bay County: KMET Holds Post Abortion Care training for Providers

Homa Bay county minister for health, Dr Lawrence Koten’g has lauded KMET’s efforts in fighting maternal deaths in the county following a Post Abortion Care (PAC) training organized by KMET in the region.

“KMET as a partner has been doing well in addressing maternal deaths through initiatives such as this PAC training which will go a long way in updating skills of our healthcare providers,” he said during the closing ceremony of the five day training held at Star ridge Hotel.

The training sought to enhance the capacity of public health workers drawn from 4 subcounties in Homa Bay County in the provision of quality abortion-related services within the confines of the Kenyan law.

Dr. Carey Francis Otula demonstrates how to assemble an MVA kitEach facility was awarded two manual vacuum aspirator (MVA) machines which are widely used in therapeutic procedures to remove uterine contents through the cervix after a miscarriage or incidence of botched abortions.

Speaking earlier during the opening session, the Executive Director, KMET, Monica Oguttu narrated how unsafe abortion has led to the death of many women. She said during her career as a practitioner she witnessed many mothers die from what’s commonly referred as the Big Five Maternal Killers unsafe being amongst them.

Unsafe abortion is life threatening to any woman and the knowledge gap should be bridged to reach out to women to save their lives” she said.

Adding that medical facilities should offer PAC services and the need to engage policy makers to make changes as regards access to such services citing sections of the constitution such as Article 8(25) The Bill of Rights; which underlines the right to healthcare and reproductive health and international conventions like the Maputo protocol.

During a roundtable discussion during the training, it emerged that stigma on abortion was still rife with women continuously being stereotyped hence impacting negatively on utilization of services such as post abortion care.

“I thank KMET for this training, I now know the difference between safe and unsafe abortion and the provision of post abortion care services as outlined by the law” summarized Aliche one of the participants from Homa Bay Sub county hospital.

 

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.

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.

 

KMET holds training for advocacy on unsafe abortion

 

 “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.

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

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.

Felix says he learnt electrical and disk jockeing (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.

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