We have recently received news from our partner, Mount Kenya Trus (MKT) of their recent mobile clinics in Embu County. Below are two stories gathered by MKT about their work.
When the Community Health Service Programme was started in Embu County, Rebecca, a 26 year old mother of three, was among the beneficiaries of the family planning programme.
Rebeccas say, “I had my first child when I was 16. Young and naïve I was a victim of early pregnancy and lack of information on reproductive health. I had my first born and in less than two years I was pregnant again. I took an initiative and got a family planning method Depo Provera which I heard from other women. I have been using the method for six years”.
Rebecca first learned about MKT’s mobile clinic from one of their Community Health Workers. Both are members of one of the women’s groups in Embu, which MKT works with on tree planting and rehabilitation of Mount Kenya forest. On attending the clinic, she was told about all the family planning methods available and given a choice – Rebecca chose a 3-year plan which she admits was the best decision she ever made on family planning.
The 3-year plan that she had inserted in 2015 has saved her quarterly trips to the facility, transport cost and hospital charges.
She commented that having family planning has enabled her to avoid unwanted pregnancies, raise and educate her children and has improved her relationship with her husband. Rebecca’s children are 10, 8 and 3 years old. She has no plans to have more children and her husband supports her decision.
Rebeccas promised that once her method expires she will have another long term method. With the information she got now, she can confidently visit a government hospital for any long term method. “I was so impressed and empowered by the services offered. I have encouraged several women to have a shot on the long term family planning method”.
Mary writes, “I have worked with MKT for 15 years as a member and a leader of one of the tree planting women’s groups. I was approached by an MKT official to join in and be trained as a Community Health Worker particularly focusing on family planning. I didn’t quite understand how family planning and conservation related. After training I got to fully understand the logic between sustainable families and conservation.
The first step I took was to educate the 100 women in my group on benefits of family planning and having a manageable family. Most women joined in the group to supplement what they get from the group with farming so they could educate, feed and raise their children. In my community women are the biggest contributors to the source of family income. Women farm, pick tea and manage most income generating resources.
With manageable families these hardworking women will be able not only raise and feed their kids but also have spare income to improve their lifestyle. To be an example I received an IUCD (intrauterine contraceptive device) during one of our outreaches. I feel empowered and I can confidently educate women and men on family planning and conservation. I believe that all the effort we are making will finally pay off. Where we will have an economically empowered society and a healthy forest altogether.”