Health Care Promotion

Poor people in rural areas who are ill and choose to seek care, usually only have the option of treatment at primary care facilities. These facilities are often under-staffed, under-equipped and have limited medicines. Among those Kenyans who are ill and do not choose to seek care, 44% are hindered by cost while another 18% are hindered by the long distance to the nearest health facility[1].

In Nyanza where we work access is also hindered by stigma, discrimination and lack of awareness of available health services. Sex workers, Men who have sex with men (MSM) and even heterosexual people are often afraid to seek treatment because of the fear of being stigmatized and discriminated against by not only their families and community but health workers as well.

Hence easing access to health care for widows, orphans, PLWA and other vulnerable people has become one of our leading programs in Nyanza province. Last year we helped over 1500 hard to reach community members in Mageta Island access health care for diseases such as malaria, typhoid and tuberculosis through 2 major health camps.

We run a robust targeted static and mobile Voluntary Counseling and Testing service to enable vulnerable people access confidential pre and post testing advice. We have been able to reach 6000 people with this service. In turn the number of people volunteering to test for HIV/AIDS and those accessing early treatment has more than doubled over the past 5 years.

In 2004, we opened Port Florence Community Hospital in Kisumu District. The hospital has 50 beds is well equipped and has qualified health practitioners who are providing very much needed health care services at affordable prices. The hospital has rooms for examination, a pharmacy, laboratory and out-patient counseling.

Our target for the coming three years is to continue extending the reach of subsidized quality health care services to the local community given the fact that majority of the households can barely afford to pay for health care. This will involve training and recruiting more Community Health Workers who will implement public health interventions targeting endemic diseases beyond HIV/AID.

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