A television advertisement in Kenya led to a public outcry against it and a national debate over how to encourage condom use.
The ad features two women who are gong about their daily routine. One of the women is having an extramarital affair. The second advises her to use a condom in order to prevent the spread of sexually transmitted infections, such as HIV.
Critics decried the ad saying that it promoted extramarital affairs rather then condemning them. The government responded by taking down the ad.
“There are better ways of passing useful information to society. This one has certainly failed,” said the Kenyan Anglican Church’s Bishop Julius Kalu to the Daily Nation.
“It openly propagates immorality, especially when all family members are gathered before television sets, waiting to watch news,” he continued.
By: Alexandra Steverson, Program Assistant for the Southern Africa Region*
Globally, one woman dies every two minutes from cervical cancer. As the second most common cancer among women, there are 530,000 new cases every year. The developing world is disproportionately burdened by this disease - 86% of cases occur in developing countries where prevention services are limited or unavailable. In some environments, the mortality rate is as high as 52%.
We know that infection with one of many strains of the Human Papillomavirus (HPV) is a leading cause of cervical cancer. The good news is that it can be prevented. Screening and treatment of pre-cancerous lesions is the most cost effective method of preventing the disease and creating positive health impact in low-resource settings. However, less than 5% of women in developing countries have accessed screening services. With simple, low-cost interventions, organization like PSI can improve health outcomes for a population that is often neglected, women around the world.
PSI/Kenya and the UK Department for International Development (DfID) have collaborated on the social marketing of insecticide treated bednets since 2001 through grants totaling £90 million. An analysis of the first 9 years of the program finds that PSI/Kenya distributed over 17 million Long Lasting Insecticide Treated Bednet (LLINs) and sold 2 million LLINs in urban markets under the Supanet brand.
A review of the program from DfID earlier this year finds exciting results.
The impact of these efforts on malaria in Kenya has been dramatic. Malaria admissions to hospitals in sentinel districts halved between 1999 and 2006, while under-5 mortality has fallen by 44%. Experts agree that most of this impact can be attributed to nets (most of which have been funded by DFID), complemented by the government’s US-backed IRS campaign. The project has thus achieved its goal to ’Reduce malaria related morbidity and mortality among vulnerable populations’…This is one of DFID’s most successful health programmes, thanks to PSI’s tight management and efficient distribution, as well as to its skills in communication.
Last week, PSI/Kenya joined the Kenya Ministry of Public Health and Sanitation and the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN) to launch a national behavior change communication campaign that will seek to educate Kenyans on Fortification and its health benefits. PSI/Kenya has worked with The Ministry of Public Health and Sanitation, The Kenya National Food Fortification Alliance (KNFFA) and partners in the design of the consumer awareness and education campaign that will teach Kenyans about the benefits of food fortification and how to identify the fortified foods by looking out for the Food Fortification Logo (attached). The fortified staples include; Maize meal, Wheat flour, Sugar and Edible oils. GAIN is providing financial and technical support to the overall Fortification program.
We are proud to share that the Tunza Family Health Network was recognized at the Health Market Innovation Awards as the 1st Runner-Up in the category of Most Innovative Health Market Innovation. The awards recognized the innovative spirit of health services throughout East Africa. “We want to give them an opportunity to share their insights on local healthcare realities, spotlight their success and salute their perseverance and continued improvement on these projects when no one was watching,” said IHPMR Chairman Dr. George Masafu.
Eligible programs were narrowed down and then scored by a panel of judges “omprised of members with many years of experience in the Healthcare sector cutting across the region in public and private sectors, policy formulations and with remarkable diverse academic qualiﬁcations.”
Here is a short summary of what the Tunza Family Health Network does, what it has accomplished to date and why it earned the special recognition.
The Tunza Family Health Network was launched in Kenya in 2008 to serve low income populations. The Tunza franchise promises friendly, quick and affordable services offered by qualiﬁed health providers. The franchise currently has a membership of 265 privately owned clinics in all of Kenyan’s eight provinces. The franchise activities are coordinated by PSI/Kenya as the franchisor.
Meet Pamela, a midwife and owner of Meditrust Health Services, in Mombasa, Kenya. Meditrust is a member of the Tunza Family Health Network, a social franchise operated by PSI in Kenya. Social franchise networks improve access to quality, affordable healthcare for families around the world. Trusted providers like Pamela are critical to strengthening the health of communities.
The Tunza Family Health Network is a fractional franchise that is made up largely of nurses and a few clinical officers. PSI/Kenya provides standards, service delivery protocols, provider training and supportive supervision for integrated services including family planning provision, HIV testing and counseling, cervical cancer screening, diarrhea and pneumonia case management as well as Voluntary Medical Male Circumcision.
The network employs community health workers, called Tunza mobilizers, to meet with small groups of women, men or both in order to counsel them about family planning options. They are then referred to the network for further counseling or services as needed.
Watch the video to learn more about Pamela and what motivates her to serve her community.
Members of the Helping Babies Breathe Global Development Alliance
Every child deserves a fifth birthday. To reach five years, though, a child must take his or her first breath of life in the first minute following birth. The World Health Organization estimates approximately one million babies die each year from birth asphyxia, a condition in which babies do not breathe on their own immediately following delivery.
Developed by the American Academy of Pediatrics, the Helping Babies BreatheSM (HBB) initiative was designed to equip birth attendants in developing countries with the skills they need to successfully resuscitate babies who do not breathe on their own. At the center of HBB is the concept of The Golden MinuteSM: within one minute of birth, a baby should be breathing well or should be ventilated with a bag and mask.
The effectiveness of the HBB curriculum is evident in the lives saved for babies like little Job in Kenya and Shakila’s baby in Afghanistan. Both were born without a cry and in desperate need to breathe. When both Shakila’s baby and Job were born, their mothers thought they were dead. Thankfully, Dr. Shifajo in Afghanistan and Nurse Mary Wekesa in Kenya were trained in HBB, and knew hope was not lost. They vigorously rubbed and dried the babies. When that did not stimulate them to breathe, they used a suction bulb to clear their mouth and nose, and used a bag-and-mask device to help push air into their lungs until they took their first glorious breaths.
In Kenya, PSI partners with the government of Kenya to stem the spread of HIV. One of campaign by PSI/Kenya is aimed at creating awareness surrounding concurrent sexual partners. Through advertisements on the radio, television and in newspapers, men and women are learning about the dangers of having multiple concurrent partners.
One example is an ad that appears in the Daily Nation which visualizes the web of people connected when a couple have concurrent sexual partners. Each cannot know if their partner on the side is having sex with other people who are in turn have multiple sexual partners. Seeing the possibility of the network helps to show how a seemingly simple act can put an individual in danger.
Check out the video above that shares some of PSI’s campaigns and discusses why this is an important issue in Kenya.
A small study of Kenyan women’s attitudes about male circumcision show both promising and worrying signs. The women were happy about the way that their partners’ penis looked after the surgery and noted that sex was more enjoyable. However, women also said that they were less concerned with contracting HIV when a partner was circumcised.
The findings are promising because the women are happy with the decision by their partner to get circumcised. These attitudes can encourage more men to be circumcised. It is worrying because there is a lack of education for the women when their partner is circumcised. While WHO data shows that circumcision can reduce the risk of spreading HIV, it is not a solution by itself. Neglecting to use a condom will keep the risk of HIV at a high level.
The University of Illinois’ Chicago School of Public Health study of 51 young women – presented in December 2011 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, at the 16th International Conference on AIDS and Sexually transmitted infections in Africa – found that most women were happy with the appearance of their partner’s penis and enjoyed sex more after circumcision.
Kenya’s efforts to stem the spread of TB is a major success story. There are 106,000 people living with TB, down from a high of 116,000 in 2006. Much of the credit is for the national screening and treatment program. Established 5 years ago, the program enabled the creation of centers equipped to test and treat people living with TB.
In the Al Jazeera report seen above, the issue of cost and resources is breached. Such a campaign is very expensive because it requires more training, more health professionals, and smoother coordination between testing centers and labs that evaluate the TB samples.
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