CHAK engages in integrated reproductive health, family planning and neonatal health services through it’s network of member health facilities. Maternal, child and neonatal health are key priorities in our health programs as we seek to contribute towards attaining MDGs 4&5 in Kenya.
Africa Christian Health Association’s (ACHA) family planning project
The Africa Christian Health Association’s (ACHA) family planning project is a three-year intervention implemented by two members of the Africa Christian Health Associations’ Platform, CHAK and Uganda Protestant Medical Board (UPMB). The project is funded by the John and Lucile Packard Foundation. It seeks to utilize the community faith based platform to improve contraceptive uptake in selected implementation sites.
The populations of both Kenya and Uganda are largely youthful with over 60 per cent being people below 35 years. Demand for family planning services among the youth in the two project countries is huge. Access to family planning services is a fundamental right in the two countries and both are committed to improving the quality of life of their population through family-centred quality services.
However, a baseline survey conducted by UPMB in her two project sites indicated that most men did not approve of modern family planning and religious beliefs were a barrier to acceptance of family planning services. There is therefore need to address these barriers to family planning.
The general objective of the project is to strengthen faith based health facilities’ capacity to implement family planning programs in Uganda and Kenya and ultimately provide a model that is replicable by other ACHAP members.
The specific objectives are:
- To build the capacity of faith-based health networks and workers to enable them to provide high quality, sustainable family planning information, counselling and services
- To build the capacity of religious leaders and other community stakeholders to enable them to increase demand for FP services
- To develop and disseminate a replicable model for strengthening FP within CHAs in other sub-Saharan countries
In Kenya the two implementing health facilities are:
i) Dophil Maternity and Nursing Home
ii) Namasoli Health Center
In Uganda the implementers are:
i) Nasuti Health Centre III
ii) Nabiguali Health Centre II both working closely with the Uganda Health Marketing Group (UHMG)
1. Strengthening the capacity of faith-based health networks and workers to provide high quality, sustainable FP information, counselling and services:
Capacity building for health care workers:
a) On-Job-training (OJT)
Due to the high turnover of skilled staff in FBO facilities, the project conducts OJTs to ensure facility staff have the skills and attitude needed to offer FP services.
b) Onsite mentorship
This is aimed at improving use of Long Acting and Permanent Methods (LAPM) in order to meet the growing demand for these services. This is in addition to addressing issues around data collection, report writing and FP methods and commodities logistics management. Health workers, community health workers and religious leaders are mentored.
c) Performance tracking mentorship
Project officers from both countries are trained and mentored on tracking project performance indicators.
d) Experience sharing forums
Collaborative exchanges are held through peer review of technical documents and development of CHW and religious leaders reporting tools. Emphasis is put on use of national guidelines with regard to long acting and permanent methods of family planning. Community health workers in different regions hold exchange visits and share their experiences in the project’s implementation.
Community based family planning services
Community integrated outreach services are conducted to improve family planning uptake. Other services offered included immunization of children under five years, ANC and treatment of minor ailments. Clients who chose to use permanent methods are referred to the health facilities.
Community based distribution of family planning methods
Community health workers reach out to clients at the household level, counselling them on different family planning methods and distributing oral contraceptive pills and condoms. Clients choosing other methods are referred to the health facilities.
Awareness and education
Religious leaders and community health workers are instrumental in delivery of correct information and destroying myths and misconceptions on family planning.
Facility based family planning services
The number of new FP users in the facilities has increased significantly. Of interest is the marked increase in the use of LAPM in Uganda.
2. Building and strengthening the capacity of religious leaders and other community stakeholders to increase demand for family planning
Training of religious leaders
Religious leaders have been trained to track education activities conducted within their churches. A simple reporting tool has been developed to help them capture this data. Religious leaders have also taken part in development of family planning messages. The religious leaders used church sermons, church women groups, youth forums and other psycho-spiritual gatherings to communicate FP messages.
3. Replication model for strengthening family planning in CHAs in other sub-Saharan countries
UPMB and CHAK continue to share family planning best practices with Africa Christian Health Associations and other health sector players through various avenues.
E2A FAMILY PLANNING PROJECT
The E2A–CHAK family planning project is a two-year undertaking started in September 2014 with funding from USAID through Pathfinder International.
The project is being implemented in eight health facilities in Nyanza and Eastern regions.
Nyanza region has a low contraceptive prevalence rate of 37 per cent compared to the highest contraceptive prevalence rate of 67 per cent in central Kenya.
Communities with a high unmet need for family planning often experience policy and other bottlenecks which impede access to and availability of high quality family planning services.
CHAK being a faith-based organization plays an influential role both at a community and national level to help inform and galvanize greater demand and support for family planning commodities, information, and services through a unique model which involves the community, the church and the health facility linkages.
1. Maua Methodist Hospital,
2. CCS Maua Health Center
3. P.C.E.A Chogoria Hospital
4. Kendu Adventist Hospital
5. Ngi,ya Health Centre,
6. Monianku Health Centre
7. Kima Health Center
8. ACK Maseno Hospital
9. Monianku Health Center
The project seeks to reduce unmet need for family planning, leading to improved maternal and child health outcomes.
To engage the faith based health sector to increase demand, access, availability and utilization of integrated family planning products and services
To achieve the project goal of reducing the unmet need for family planning in the selected sites, the project engages communities and church leaders through the CHAK participating health facilities and other community stakeholders to achieve the following objectives:
- Engage the faith based health sector to increase demand and access, availability and utilization of integrated family planning products and services
- Improving knowledge, skills, attitudes and performance of service providers in the provision of family planning services especially the long-acting and permanent family planning methods.
- Expand the range of family planning choices for women of reproductive age in the project catchment areas
Approaches and strategies
- Creating awareness of family planning services in the targeted communities through community health worker initiatives, religious leaders’ involvement and advocacy
- Capacity building for health workers, community health workers, religious leaders and other opinion leaders. This involves collaboration with county health departments, national family planning and reproductive health departments and national family planning and reproductive health coordination bodies.
- Implementation and strengthening of out- reach services in hard-to-reach areas and special populations.
- Integration of family planning in the MNCH, out-patient, special clinics and other service delivery points.
- Male empowerment and involvement in family planning through religious leaders and other key stakeholder engagements.
The implementing health facilities have been issued with the current National Family Planning Guidelines and other IEC materials. Religious leaders have been trained on family planning and how to pass information to the community and refer clients to the health facilities. A number of community health volunteers (CHVs) have been trained to offer some family planning methods such as pills and condoms at household and community level and refer clients for long acting and permanent methods to the health facilities.
The facilities offer a wide range of family planning methods including oral pills, implants, IUCD, condoms and Depo provera. Lack of family planning commodities and trained staff has proved a challenge to improving uptake. The facilities get their family planning supplies from the county or sub-county offices.