HEALTH

Good health is a foundational element of building a better life.
We teach youth and family guardians to understand basic principles of nutrition, hygiene, and reproductive health. We also teach families
access medical care, and we provide special nutritional assistance to help families affected by special medical conditions including HIV.

Education on Nutrition, Hygiene, and Sexual and Reproductive Health

Professional nutritionists and public health officers offer workshops to family guardians on nutrition and good hygiene. This new knowledge is underscored by agricultural training to help families grow the healthier diet they have understood and valued.

Nutrition is a widespread challenge for many people in western Kenya, where the traditional, affordable diet of maize and leafy greens fills stomachs but doesn’t offer sufficient protein or variety of vitamins and micronutrients. This is why we offer education on proper nutrition to family guardians who grow and cook food for children. Our training on hygiene and public health, especially in the era of coronavirus, is an important way of helping families live safely, cleanly, and avoid catching transmissible infections or viruses. For young people, including all of the high school students to whom we offer scholarships, we offer annual workshops in sexual and reproductive health (SRH) led by qualified professionals from Marie Stopes, one of the leading organizations globally in women’s health, family planning, and sexual health. Knowledge is power, and health is life, which is why we put great effort into ensuring the people we support have the knowledge they need to grow well, be healthy, and remain strong.

Access to Healthcare

Our social work staff work with families to educate them about Kenya’s $5/month national insurance plan and encourage them to sign up. For medically vulnerable families who can’t pay, we support their payments to ensure they are covered.

For many families, healthcare services are a last resort that is avoided until conditions require urgent treatment. Of course, better health outcomes will result if families have preventative healthcare and the ability to confidently, easily access clinical care before conditions get worse. Our staff help family guardians understand Kenya’s National Hospital Insurance Fund (NHIF), a sliding scale national healthcare plan that starts at around $5 each month for families with low incomes. Staff bring in guardians who have successfully utilized the NHIF system, who then encourage other family guardians to sign up and remain current so they can access health services whenever needed, with low or no out of pocket costs. Meanwhile, for families that have critical health needs but who cannot afford to pay for NHIF, we sometimes fund the monthly payments for them so that children and their parents or guardians can get treatment as needed, when needed, without a second thought.

Special Nutritional Assistance

For families affected by medical conditions like HIV or Sickle Cell, where a balanced and healthy diet is crucial for survival, we send $2.50 each week as a way of supporting them to buy fruit, vegetables, and protein that help maintain good health.

We do not want to build dependence on cash disbursements, but for some families the nutritional needs are so urgent that we have to act. For families with critical nutritional needs caused by underlying conditions and afflictions, especially HIV, we are able to offer a program for nutritional assistance. Guardians of these families are counselled by our staff, and sent to medical professionals who offer their professional advice, so that the guardians understand the importance of their families’ particular nutritional needs. The Care Centre accounts office sends these families $2.50 each week to help them buy foods like fruit, milk, or liver that are recommended by medical professionals. We do it on a weekly basis because anything more frequent is harder for families living in poverty to manage and utilize for the intended purpose. In the long-term, our agriculture programs give these families special attention with the aim of helping them produce their own foods to meet their unique nutritional needs.

Healthy Homes

We help families improve their health by assisting them to construct hygienic pit latrines and live in smoke-free homes. Families provide labour and the supplies they can, while we provide other needed materials like cement and iron sheets. Together, we build latrines and washrooms that can be kept clean and provide privacy. We also help reduce children’s exposure to indoor air pollution through provision of modern solar lanterns that replace kerosene lamps, and construction of traditional separated kitchens that keep cooking-smoke out of the house. To the right is an example of a pit latrine. READ MORE

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