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Kenya

Articles by Kenya

IPPF_Isabel Corthier
26 March 2022

High Court Judgement in Malindi Protects Women, Girls and Healthcare Providers from Arbitrary Abortion-Related Arrests and Prosecutions

March 26, 2022 (MALINDI) – In a landmark verdict today, the High Court of Malindi has ruled that safe abortion care is a fundamental right under the Constitution of Kenya and that arbitrary arrests and prosecution of patients and healthcare providers, for seeking or offering such services, is completely illegal. Specifically, the Court ruled that:  Abortion care is a fundamental right under the Constitution of Kenya and that arbitrary arrests and prosecution of patients and healthcare providers seeking or offering such services is illegal. Protecting access to abortion impacts vital Constitutional values, including dignity, autonomy, equality, and bodily integrity. Criminalizing abortion under Penal Code without Constitutional statutory framework is an impairment to the enjoyment of women’s reproductive right For years, women and girls in Kenya have faced sustained and pervasive discrimination hampering their access to seeking reproductive healthcare services; the 1963 Penal Code criminalizes all abortion care, including those allowed under the Constitution 2010, which guarantees the right to healthcare, including access to reproductive health services. The Constitution only permits safe abortion if in the opinion of a trained health professional, there is need for emergency treatment, or the life or health of the mother is at risk/in danger. The court case in question, filed in November 2020, involved PAK, a minor 16 years of age from Kilifi County. PAK experienced complications during pregnancy and immediately sought medical care at a nearby clinic where a trained clinical officer attended to her. Upon examining her, the clinical officer determined that she had lost the pregnancy and proceeded to provide her with essential and life-saving post-abortion care. Policy officers stormed the clinic, in the midst of the treatment, stopping the medical procedure and confiscating PAK’s treatment records. They then proceeded to illegally arrest both PAK and the clinical officer. Both were taken to Ganze Police Patrol Base where PAK was not allowed to access further medical care for the next two days and was forced to sign a statement which was contrary to PAK’s description of the events. The police also forced PAK to undergo another detailed medical examination at Kilifi County Hospital to obtain evidence to prove the alleged offence of abortion. The clinical officer was detained for one week while PAK was remanded to a juvenile remand for more than a month, whilst she and her family sought to secure the cash bail for her release. The Malindi High Court has further directed the Parliament to enact an abortion law and public policy framework that aligns with the Kenyan Constitution. Additionally, the Court has confirmed that communication between a patient and the healthcare provider is confidential, which is guaranteed and protected under the Constitution and other enabling laws, save for where the disclosure is consented to by the patient or is in the public interest in line with the limitations as provided for in the Constitution. In its decision, the Court also ruled that PAK was recovering from medical procedure and police did not have the medical qualifications to determine and confirm that she was medically-fit to leave the clinic, regardless of her admission status at the clinic. Additionally, the Court found that PAK’s arrest was inhuman and degrading, and being a minor, she ought not to have been interrogated without legal representation. Evelyne Opondo, Senior Regional Director for Africa at Center for Reproductive Rights said, “Today’s victory is for all women, girls, and healthcare providers who have been treated as criminals for seeking and providing abortion care. The court has vindicated our position by affirming that forcing a woman to carry an unwanted pregnancy to term or to seek out an unsafe abortion is a gross violation of her rights to privacy and bodily autonomy. Further, the continued restrictive abortion laws inhibit quality improvement possible to protect women with unintended pregnancies.” Nelly Munyasia, Executive Director of Reproductive Health Network Kenya (RHNK), a network of reproductive health providers whose member was the second petitioner in this case, welcomed the court’s decision. “Many qualified reproductive healthcare practitioners continue to be arrested, detained, and prosecuted for providing legal medical care. The court’s decision confirms that prosecution against health providers cannot hold where the prosecution has not established that; the health professional in question was unqualified to conduct the procedure; the life or health of the woman was not in danger or the woman was not in need of emergency treatment,” Ms. Munyasia said. Marie-Evelyne Petrus-Barry, Regional Director from the International Planned Parenthood Federation of whom Reproductive Health Rights Network Kenya is a collaborative partner added: “We are absolutely delighted to hear this news and applaud the High Court of Malindi's ruling confirming that abortion care is a fundamental right under the Constitution of Kenya and that arbitrary arrests and prosecution of patients and healthcare providers for seeking or offering such services is illegal. We are also very pleased to hear that the Court has directed Parliament to enact an abortion law and public policy framework that aligns with the Constitution. This is a victory for women and girls not only in Kenya, but across Africa! Access to quality abortion is essential to guarantee the health and reproductive rights of women and girls everywhere. At IPPF, we are committed to reducing the number of deaths of women and girls who are forced to turn to unsafe abortion methods for fear of arrests and harassment. We will continue to supply and support safe and legal abortion services and care for women and girls everywhere.” The petitioners were represented by the Center for Reproductive Rights advocates Martin Onyango, Head of Legal Strategies for Africa, and Prudence Mutiso, Legal Advisor for Africa. Center fact sheet: “The Impact of the Misalignment Between Kenya’s Constitution and the Penal Code on Access to Reproductive Health Care”

Malawi_IPPF_Tommy Trenchard
31 January 2022

Feminist Opportunities Now (FON)

  The objective of the project is to build the capacity of women's movements, via sub-grants and organizational development support, especially for small organizations, often non-registered, to address and respond to gender-based violence. Budget:  14,000 000 EUR Donor: Agence Française de Développement (AFD) Timeline: 4 years (Start date – Q2 of 2022) Project implementation areas: Mexico and Columbia in Latin-America (led by MdM), Bangladesh and Sri Lanka in Asia (led by CREA) and Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Guinea the Ivory Cost, Kenya and Mali (led by IPPFARO Partners: IPPF ARO, Médecins du Monde(MdM), Creating Resources for Empowerment in Action (CREA), FIDH (International Federation on Human Rights) & Empow’Her. Other interesting information: It is the first time IPPF has received direct funding from AFD, the first time we are partnering with these new consortium partners and delivering on a large global project

Adobe stock picture
31 January 2022

Youth Internship

The Youth Internship Program provides a framework for youth to benefit hands-on experience, mentoring and coaching to strengthen and develop technical, professional and advocacy skills. Budget:  300,000 USD Donor: Packard Timeline: 2 Years ( August 2020 – July 2022 ) Project location: Africa Regional Office Key achievements to date: 5 young people were recruited (2 Females & 2 Males) Participation in training & intern. events Participation in projects and initiatives Skills developed Mentoring and coaching from staff & Supervisors Innovative approaches: 2 totally youth-led projects  

IPPF Japan Trust Fund
30 March 2017

Japan Trust Fund

The Japan Trust Fund (JTF) represents a visionary partnership that began in 2000 between the Government of Japan and IPPF. Together, we invest in programmes that prioritize health equity, gender equality, and human security for all. Traditionally a driving force behind IPPF's efforts to support the integrated HIV prevention programmes of our Member Associations in Africa and Asia, JTF has adjusted to reflect changing global health priorities. We attach importance to universal access to sexual and reproductive health and rights - an essential contributor to universal health coverage and the global development goals.     These projects have transformed the lives of people most vulnerable to HIV and high risk of maternal and child mortality. Equally, it ensures that as a donor, the GOJ’s response to HIV remains people-centred and contributes to human security.      

A woman receiving an antenatal check up in West Ambae, Vanuatu
31 March 2017

SPRINT: Sexual and reproductive health in crisis and post-crisis situations

The SPRINT Initiative provides one of the most important aspects of humanitarian assistance that is often forgotten when disaster and conflicts strike: access to essential life-saving sexual and reproductive health services. We build capacity of humanitarian workers to deliver essential life-saving sexual and reproductive health services in crisis and post-crisis situations through the delivery of the Minimum Initial Service Package (SRH) for reproductive health in emergencies.   Through funding from the Australian Government's Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) our SPRINT Initiative has brought sexual and reproductive health to the humanitarian agenda, increased capacity and responded to a number of humanitarian emergencies. Australia has funded the SPRINT initiative since 2007 and has supported reaching 1,138,175 people to date and continues to respond to ongoing emergencies.   In each priority country, we work with an IPPF Member Association to coordinate and implement SPRINT activities. Through these partnerships, SPRINT helps strengthen the enabling environment, improve national capacity and provide lifesaving services during times of crisis.   You can read more about the SPRINT Initiative and IPPF Humanitarian’s Programme here.   Australian Government's Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT)      Australia's location in the Indo-Pacific provides us with a unique perspective on humanitarian action. Australia is committed to helping partner governments manage crisis response themselves. This is done through building the capacity of the national government and civil society to be able to respond to disaster. DFAT also works with experienced international partners to prepare for and respond to disasters, including other donors, United Nations agencies, the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement and non-government organisations.  

Integra is a 5-year research initiative in Kenya, Malawi and Swaziland.
30 May 2016

Integra Initiative

Integra is a 5-year research initiative in Kenya, Malawi and Swaziland. It aims to reduce HIV infection, HIV-related stigma and unintended pregnancy. IPPF implements the Integra Initiative with support from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and in collaboration with the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and the Population Council.  

Photo of ACT!2030 young activists
07 February 2017

ACT!2030

IPPF collaborates with UNAIDS and The PACT to implement ACT!2030 (formerly ACT!2015), a youth-led social action initiative which engages young people in 12 countries with advocacy and accountability around the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and other SRHR agreements/frameworks. ACT!2030 was initiated in 2013 as a way to increase youth participation in the negotiations leading up to the adoption of the post-2015 development agenda, and for two years focused on establishing alliances of youth-led and youth-serving organisations in 12 countries across the world. The project is currently in Phase 4, which runs until the end of 2017, and aims to establish youth-led, data-driven accountability mechanisms to ensure youth engagement with the implementation of the SDGs and build an evidence base for advocacy. Ultimately, Phase 4 of ACT!2030 seeks to identify, assess and address key policy barriers to young people’s sexual and reproductive data by using existing data, supplemented by youth-collected data, to advocate and lobby for policy change. This phase involves four main activities: indicator advocacy (persuading decision makers to adopt youth-friendly SRHR and HIV indicators, including on things like comprehensive sexuality education (CSE) and access to youth-friendly services, into national/global reporting mechanisms); evidence gathering (creating national databases on quality of and access to youth-friendly services and CSE); communications (transforming this data and evidence into communications pieces that can be used to advocacy and lobby at national and international level); and global exchange (facilitating global visibility to share advocacy and engagement learnings and increase youth-led accountability in global and regional processes). ACT!2030 is implemented by national alliances of youth organisations in 12 countries: Algeria, Bulgaria, India, Jamaica, Kenya, Mexico, Nigeria, Philippines, South Africa, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe.  

Family Health Options Kenya

Kenya’s first ever family planning clinic was set up in 1962 by Family Health Options of Kenya (FHOK) at the time of its foundation. Over the decades, the organization has seen a substantial improvement in the nation’s sexual and reproductive health (SRH), but FHOK is the first to acknowledge there is still much to be done.

Today FHOK delivers a comprehensive range of SRH services. These include: contraception, emergency contraception, antenatal and post-natal services, and post-abortion care. Kenya has a significant HIV and AIDS prevalence rate, and much of FHOK’s work concentrates on the prevention of HIV, and the detection and management of the virus (via referrals to laboratories for CD4 counts and the provision of anteretrovirals). 

FHOK has a substantial support base in the community, with thousands of volunteers giving their time to promote and deliver services and education on all aspects of SRH, including hundreds of members of the Youth Action Movement. The volunteers back a team of professional staff and health personnel. FHOK works through hundreds of service points, including permanent clinics, mobile units and youth centres. Add to that a programme of intense advocacy to place SRH at the centre of the government’s health and planning agenda, and it’s clear that FHOK’s work has wide personal and political impact.

FHOK is implementing a number of innovative projects, include an initiative that is forging links with micro-financial institutions to enable people living with HIV and AIDS to develop businesses and financial independence. 

FHOK also incorporates a very educational component in its HIV and AIDS activity. It runs outreach programmes targeting sugar factories and agricultural farms in towns and districts in Mombasa. Peer educators present and facilitate lectures, group discussions, film shows, talks and theatre performances, and provide one-to-one counselling for young people on sexuality, relationships, prevention of unwanted pregnancy, contraceptives, drug abuse and unsafe abortion.

FHOK works with a large number of government agencies and non-governmental organizations, and it receives funding from UNFPA, the European Union, USAID, the Rockefeller Foundation, the Futures Group International, Plan International, IPPF’s Japan Trust Fund, the Netherlands Trust Fund,the Kenya Family Health Programme, SIDA, and JOICEP. It also works alongside civil society and private sector organizations including the Kenya Association for the Promotion of Adolescent Health (KAPAH), the Kenya Broadcasting Corporation and the Kenya Association of Professional Counsellors.

Contacts

Website: https://www.fhok.org/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Family-Health-Options-Kenya-FHOK-164011377096064/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/familyhealthopt

Stanley Ngara
14 January 2022

Meet Kenya’s King of Condoms, Stanley Ngara

1 December 2021, World AIDS Day. Stanley Ngara, from Kenya, is commonly known as the ‘King of Condom’. Stanley spends his days educating people about safe sex practices and distributing condoms. He distributes condoms -for free- to different groups of people among them youth, sex workers, boda boda riders, university students, market traders and even drug users. Stanley is passionate about raising awareness on issues of sexual reproductive health and rights (SRHR), including HIV and AIDS. IPPF Africa Region met Stanley during one of his regular outreach activities in his home area of Kiambu County, located in Kenya’s Central region, and brings you his story. IPPF supports champions like Stanley, who are committed to raising awareness on different SRHR issues in their communities. On this World AIDS Day 2021, we celebrate Stanley and all other SRHR champions who are making significant contributions in the society, more so towards the attainment of the health goals in their countries. See the long version of Stanley's story: Meet Kenya’s Celebrated 'King of Condoms', Stanley Ngara This feature was co-produced by IPPF Africa Region and Darbrun Production Company (Nairobi). See also: “I Wish I Should not Have to Choose Between Condoms and a Meal”, says Kiandutu Slum’s Shoe Fixer

Botswana GGR
13 January 2022

Spotlight on Kenya: Transgender Persons Should Enjoy Protection from Transphobia!

Transgender people are increasingly visible in both popular culture and in daily life. Unfortunately, discrimination, stigma and violence towards Transgender persons increases simultaneously and remains widely unreported. Violence affects people of all sexual orientations and gender identities, including Transgender persons. It is often said that one’s sexual orientation, gender identity or expression (SOGIE) is a “non-issue”, however, the violence meted upon said persons is undeniably a big issue as it affects their quality of health and life. According to a Trans Murder Monitoring Report published by Transrespect Versus Transphobia, 375 trans and gender-diverse people were reported murdered between 1 October 2020 and 30 September 2021 globally. Kenya is no exception to this kind of global data. According to The Gay And Lesbian Coalition Of Kenya (GALCK), “Some members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) community are better protected from violence and discrimination by the constitution. This is because laws that outlaw discrimination on grounds of sex and gender protect transgender and intersex individuals. However, the law does not adequately address the needs of Kenya’s transgender and intersex community. Members of this community experience challenges accessing health care and changing their names and gender in legal documents”. Kenya is considered among the most progressive African countries. But the country's High Court in 2019 upset activists by upholding a colonial-era law that punishes homosexual acts with up to 14 years in prison. In its 2020 Annual report, the National Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission reported receiving 329 reports of LGBTI rights violations between July 2019 and June 2020; and the GALCK reported an increase of these cases since the pandemic started with up to 10 attacks per month on the LGBTQ community. This is clear evidence that Sexual and Gender Minority groups in Kenya, continue to experience abuse and violence simply because of who they are and because of their sexual orientation and gender identities. LGBTQ persons in Kenya and across the world have often been on the receiving end of violence, they suffer stigma, discrimination, physical and verbal abuse, assault, harassment, eviction from their home and communities, loss of job, suspension, or expulsion from school, etc. All transgender persons have a right to equality and freedom from discrimination of all forms. All transgender persons require equal protection against any form of violence. The right to equality includes the full and equal enjoyment of all human rights and fundamental freedoms. Transgender persons do not want special rights. Basic human rights are not special rights; the right to get and keep a job based on merit is not a special right, the right to be served food in a restaurant is not a special right; the right to have a roof over one’s head is not a special right; the right to walk down a street and not be attacked because of who you are and whom you love is not a special right. The Government of Kenya should ensure its laws and systems protect Transgender persons just like any other citizen of Kenya against all forms of violence and discrimination. The Government of Kenya should commit to end all forms of violence and discrimination against transgender persons, by publicly condemning any major instances of homophobic and transphobic violence that occur in the counties and in the country in general. We are all beautiful, we deserve love and we all have the right to live with dignity and respect. As we just marked and celebrated the Transgender Day of Remembrance, celebrated every 19th of November, which memorializes victims of transphobic violence, and as we continue to celebrate Transgender Awareness month until the end of November; we remember those in the transgender community who have lost their lives due to violence brought by hate and ignorance and we honor, celebrate, and advocate for the respect of the rights of transgender and gender diverse communities.   Alvin Mwangi,  Sexual Reproductive Health and Rights Advocate and IPPF Africa Region Intern in the Programs Department

IPPF_Isabel Corthier
26 March 2022

High Court Judgement in Malindi Protects Women, Girls and Healthcare Providers from Arbitrary Abortion-Related Arrests and Prosecutions

March 26, 2022 (MALINDI) – In a landmark verdict today, the High Court of Malindi has ruled that safe abortion care is a fundamental right under the Constitution of Kenya and that arbitrary arrests and prosecution of patients and healthcare providers, for seeking or offering such services, is completely illegal. Specifically, the Court ruled that:  Abortion care is a fundamental right under the Constitution of Kenya and that arbitrary arrests and prosecution of patients and healthcare providers seeking or offering such services is illegal. Protecting access to abortion impacts vital Constitutional values, including dignity, autonomy, equality, and bodily integrity. Criminalizing abortion under Penal Code without Constitutional statutory framework is an impairment to the enjoyment of women’s reproductive right For years, women and girls in Kenya have faced sustained and pervasive discrimination hampering their access to seeking reproductive healthcare services; the 1963 Penal Code criminalizes all abortion care, including those allowed under the Constitution 2010, which guarantees the right to healthcare, including access to reproductive health services. The Constitution only permits safe abortion if in the opinion of a trained health professional, there is need for emergency treatment, or the life or health of the mother is at risk/in danger. The court case in question, filed in November 2020, involved PAK, a minor 16 years of age from Kilifi County. PAK experienced complications during pregnancy and immediately sought medical care at a nearby clinic where a trained clinical officer attended to her. Upon examining her, the clinical officer determined that she had lost the pregnancy and proceeded to provide her with essential and life-saving post-abortion care. Policy officers stormed the clinic, in the midst of the treatment, stopping the medical procedure and confiscating PAK’s treatment records. They then proceeded to illegally arrest both PAK and the clinical officer. Both were taken to Ganze Police Patrol Base where PAK was not allowed to access further medical care for the next two days and was forced to sign a statement which was contrary to PAK’s description of the events. The police also forced PAK to undergo another detailed medical examination at Kilifi County Hospital to obtain evidence to prove the alleged offence of abortion. The clinical officer was detained for one week while PAK was remanded to a juvenile remand for more than a month, whilst she and her family sought to secure the cash bail for her release. The Malindi High Court has further directed the Parliament to enact an abortion law and public policy framework that aligns with the Kenyan Constitution. Additionally, the Court has confirmed that communication between a patient and the healthcare provider is confidential, which is guaranteed and protected under the Constitution and other enabling laws, save for where the disclosure is consented to by the patient or is in the public interest in line with the limitations as provided for in the Constitution. In its decision, the Court also ruled that PAK was recovering from medical procedure and police did not have the medical qualifications to determine and confirm that she was medically-fit to leave the clinic, regardless of her admission status at the clinic. Additionally, the Court found that PAK’s arrest was inhuman and degrading, and being a minor, she ought not to have been interrogated without legal representation. Evelyne Opondo, Senior Regional Director for Africa at Center for Reproductive Rights said, “Today’s victory is for all women, girls, and healthcare providers who have been treated as criminals for seeking and providing abortion care. The court has vindicated our position by affirming that forcing a woman to carry an unwanted pregnancy to term or to seek out an unsafe abortion is a gross violation of her rights to privacy and bodily autonomy. Further, the continued restrictive abortion laws inhibit quality improvement possible to protect women with unintended pregnancies.” Nelly Munyasia, Executive Director of Reproductive Health Network Kenya (RHNK), a network of reproductive health providers whose member was the second petitioner in this case, welcomed the court’s decision. “Many qualified reproductive healthcare practitioners continue to be arrested, detained, and prosecuted for providing legal medical care. The court’s decision confirms that prosecution against health providers cannot hold where the prosecution has not established that; the health professional in question was unqualified to conduct the procedure; the life or health of the woman was not in danger or the woman was not in need of emergency treatment,” Ms. Munyasia said. Marie-Evelyne Petrus-Barry, Regional Director from the International Planned Parenthood Federation of whom Reproductive Health Rights Network Kenya is a collaborative partner added: “We are absolutely delighted to hear this news and applaud the High Court of Malindi's ruling confirming that abortion care is a fundamental right under the Constitution of Kenya and that arbitrary arrests and prosecution of patients and healthcare providers for seeking or offering such services is illegal. We are also very pleased to hear that the Court has directed Parliament to enact an abortion law and public policy framework that aligns with the Constitution. This is a victory for women and girls not only in Kenya, but across Africa! Access to quality abortion is essential to guarantee the health and reproductive rights of women and girls everywhere. At IPPF, we are committed to reducing the number of deaths of women and girls who are forced to turn to unsafe abortion methods for fear of arrests and harassment. We will continue to supply and support safe and legal abortion services and care for women and girls everywhere.” The petitioners were represented by the Center for Reproductive Rights advocates Martin Onyango, Head of Legal Strategies for Africa, and Prudence Mutiso, Legal Advisor for Africa. Center fact sheet: “The Impact of the Misalignment Between Kenya’s Constitution and the Penal Code on Access to Reproductive Health Care”

Malawi_IPPF_Tommy Trenchard
31 January 2022

Feminist Opportunities Now (FON)

  The objective of the project is to build the capacity of women's movements, via sub-grants and organizational development support, especially for small organizations, often non-registered, to address and respond to gender-based violence. Budget:  14,000 000 EUR Donor: Agence Française de Développement (AFD) Timeline: 4 years (Start date – Q2 of 2022) Project implementation areas: Mexico and Columbia in Latin-America (led by MdM), Bangladesh and Sri Lanka in Asia (led by CREA) and Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Guinea the Ivory Cost, Kenya and Mali (led by IPPFARO Partners: IPPF ARO, Médecins du Monde(MdM), Creating Resources for Empowerment in Action (CREA), FIDH (International Federation on Human Rights) & Empow’Her. Other interesting information: It is the first time IPPF has received direct funding from AFD, the first time we are partnering with these new consortium partners and delivering on a large global project

Adobe stock picture
31 January 2022

Youth Internship

The Youth Internship Program provides a framework for youth to benefit hands-on experience, mentoring and coaching to strengthen and develop technical, professional and advocacy skills. Budget:  300,000 USD Donor: Packard Timeline: 2 Years ( August 2020 – July 2022 ) Project location: Africa Regional Office Key achievements to date: 5 young people were recruited (2 Females & 2 Males) Participation in training & intern. events Participation in projects and initiatives Skills developed Mentoring and coaching from staff & Supervisors Innovative approaches: 2 totally youth-led projects  

IPPF Japan Trust Fund
30 March 2017

Japan Trust Fund

The Japan Trust Fund (JTF) represents a visionary partnership that began in 2000 between the Government of Japan and IPPF. Together, we invest in programmes that prioritize health equity, gender equality, and human security for all. Traditionally a driving force behind IPPF's efforts to support the integrated HIV prevention programmes of our Member Associations in Africa and Asia, JTF has adjusted to reflect changing global health priorities. We attach importance to universal access to sexual and reproductive health and rights - an essential contributor to universal health coverage and the global development goals.     These projects have transformed the lives of people most vulnerable to HIV and high risk of maternal and child mortality. Equally, it ensures that as a donor, the GOJ’s response to HIV remains people-centred and contributes to human security.      

A woman receiving an antenatal check up in West Ambae, Vanuatu
31 March 2017

SPRINT: Sexual and reproductive health in crisis and post-crisis situations

The SPRINT Initiative provides one of the most important aspects of humanitarian assistance that is often forgotten when disaster and conflicts strike: access to essential life-saving sexual and reproductive health services. We build capacity of humanitarian workers to deliver essential life-saving sexual and reproductive health services in crisis and post-crisis situations through the delivery of the Minimum Initial Service Package (SRH) for reproductive health in emergencies.   Through funding from the Australian Government's Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) our SPRINT Initiative has brought sexual and reproductive health to the humanitarian agenda, increased capacity and responded to a number of humanitarian emergencies. Australia has funded the SPRINT initiative since 2007 and has supported reaching 1,138,175 people to date and continues to respond to ongoing emergencies.   In each priority country, we work with an IPPF Member Association to coordinate and implement SPRINT activities. Through these partnerships, SPRINT helps strengthen the enabling environment, improve national capacity and provide lifesaving services during times of crisis.   You can read more about the SPRINT Initiative and IPPF Humanitarian’s Programme here.   Australian Government's Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT)      Australia's location in the Indo-Pacific provides us with a unique perspective on humanitarian action. Australia is committed to helping partner governments manage crisis response themselves. This is done through building the capacity of the national government and civil society to be able to respond to disaster. DFAT also works with experienced international partners to prepare for and respond to disasters, including other donors, United Nations agencies, the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement and non-government organisations.  

Integra is a 5-year research initiative in Kenya, Malawi and Swaziland.
30 May 2016

Integra Initiative

Integra is a 5-year research initiative in Kenya, Malawi and Swaziland. It aims to reduce HIV infection, HIV-related stigma and unintended pregnancy. IPPF implements the Integra Initiative with support from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and in collaboration with the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and the Population Council.  

Photo of ACT!2030 young activists
07 February 2017

ACT!2030

IPPF collaborates with UNAIDS and The PACT to implement ACT!2030 (formerly ACT!2015), a youth-led social action initiative which engages young people in 12 countries with advocacy and accountability around the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and other SRHR agreements/frameworks. ACT!2030 was initiated in 2013 as a way to increase youth participation in the negotiations leading up to the adoption of the post-2015 development agenda, and for two years focused on establishing alliances of youth-led and youth-serving organisations in 12 countries across the world. The project is currently in Phase 4, which runs until the end of 2017, and aims to establish youth-led, data-driven accountability mechanisms to ensure youth engagement with the implementation of the SDGs and build an evidence base for advocacy. Ultimately, Phase 4 of ACT!2030 seeks to identify, assess and address key policy barriers to young people’s sexual and reproductive data by using existing data, supplemented by youth-collected data, to advocate and lobby for policy change. This phase involves four main activities: indicator advocacy (persuading decision makers to adopt youth-friendly SRHR and HIV indicators, including on things like comprehensive sexuality education (CSE) and access to youth-friendly services, into national/global reporting mechanisms); evidence gathering (creating national databases on quality of and access to youth-friendly services and CSE); communications (transforming this data and evidence into communications pieces that can be used to advocacy and lobby at national and international level); and global exchange (facilitating global visibility to share advocacy and engagement learnings and increase youth-led accountability in global and regional processes). ACT!2030 is implemented by national alliances of youth organisations in 12 countries: Algeria, Bulgaria, India, Jamaica, Kenya, Mexico, Nigeria, Philippines, South Africa, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe.  

Family Health Options Kenya

Kenya’s first ever family planning clinic was set up in 1962 by Family Health Options of Kenya (FHOK) at the time of its foundation. Over the decades, the organization has seen a substantial improvement in the nation’s sexual and reproductive health (SRH), but FHOK is the first to acknowledge there is still much to be done.

Today FHOK delivers a comprehensive range of SRH services. These include: contraception, emergency contraception, antenatal and post-natal services, and post-abortion care. Kenya has a significant HIV and AIDS prevalence rate, and much of FHOK’s work concentrates on the prevention of HIV, and the detection and management of the virus (via referrals to laboratories for CD4 counts and the provision of anteretrovirals). 

FHOK has a substantial support base in the community, with thousands of volunteers giving their time to promote and deliver services and education on all aspects of SRH, including hundreds of members of the Youth Action Movement. The volunteers back a team of professional staff and health personnel. FHOK works through hundreds of service points, including permanent clinics, mobile units and youth centres. Add to that a programme of intense advocacy to place SRH at the centre of the government’s health and planning agenda, and it’s clear that FHOK’s work has wide personal and political impact.

FHOK is implementing a number of innovative projects, include an initiative that is forging links with micro-financial institutions to enable people living with HIV and AIDS to develop businesses and financial independence. 

FHOK also incorporates a very educational component in its HIV and AIDS activity. It runs outreach programmes targeting sugar factories and agricultural farms in towns and districts in Mombasa. Peer educators present and facilitate lectures, group discussions, film shows, talks and theatre performances, and provide one-to-one counselling for young people on sexuality, relationships, prevention of unwanted pregnancy, contraceptives, drug abuse and unsafe abortion.

FHOK works with a large number of government agencies and non-governmental organizations, and it receives funding from UNFPA, the European Union, USAID, the Rockefeller Foundation, the Futures Group International, Plan International, IPPF’s Japan Trust Fund, the Netherlands Trust Fund,the Kenya Family Health Programme, SIDA, and JOICEP. It also works alongside civil society and private sector organizations including the Kenya Association for the Promotion of Adolescent Health (KAPAH), the Kenya Broadcasting Corporation and the Kenya Association of Professional Counsellors.

Contacts

Website: https://www.fhok.org/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Family-Health-Options-Kenya-FHOK-164011377096064/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/familyhealthopt

Stanley Ngara
14 January 2022

Meet Kenya’s King of Condoms, Stanley Ngara

1 December 2021, World AIDS Day. Stanley Ngara, from Kenya, is commonly known as the ‘King of Condom’. Stanley spends his days educating people about safe sex practices and distributing condoms. He distributes condoms -for free- to different groups of people among them youth, sex workers, boda boda riders, university students, market traders and even drug users. Stanley is passionate about raising awareness on issues of sexual reproductive health and rights (SRHR), including HIV and AIDS. IPPF Africa Region met Stanley during one of his regular outreach activities in his home area of Kiambu County, located in Kenya’s Central region, and brings you his story. IPPF supports champions like Stanley, who are committed to raising awareness on different SRHR issues in their communities. On this World AIDS Day 2021, we celebrate Stanley and all other SRHR champions who are making significant contributions in the society, more so towards the attainment of the health goals in their countries. See the long version of Stanley's story: Meet Kenya’s Celebrated 'King of Condoms', Stanley Ngara This feature was co-produced by IPPF Africa Region and Darbrun Production Company (Nairobi). See also: “I Wish I Should not Have to Choose Between Condoms and a Meal”, says Kiandutu Slum’s Shoe Fixer

Botswana GGR
13 January 2022

Spotlight on Kenya: Transgender Persons Should Enjoy Protection from Transphobia!

Transgender people are increasingly visible in both popular culture and in daily life. Unfortunately, discrimination, stigma and violence towards Transgender persons increases simultaneously and remains widely unreported. Violence affects people of all sexual orientations and gender identities, including Transgender persons. It is often said that one’s sexual orientation, gender identity or expression (SOGIE) is a “non-issue”, however, the violence meted upon said persons is undeniably a big issue as it affects their quality of health and life. According to a Trans Murder Monitoring Report published by Transrespect Versus Transphobia, 375 trans and gender-diverse people were reported murdered between 1 October 2020 and 30 September 2021 globally. Kenya is no exception to this kind of global data. According to The Gay And Lesbian Coalition Of Kenya (GALCK), “Some members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) community are better protected from violence and discrimination by the constitution. This is because laws that outlaw discrimination on grounds of sex and gender protect transgender and intersex individuals. However, the law does not adequately address the needs of Kenya’s transgender and intersex community. Members of this community experience challenges accessing health care and changing their names and gender in legal documents”. Kenya is considered among the most progressive African countries. But the country's High Court in 2019 upset activists by upholding a colonial-era law that punishes homosexual acts with up to 14 years in prison. In its 2020 Annual report, the National Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission reported receiving 329 reports of LGBTI rights violations between July 2019 and June 2020; and the GALCK reported an increase of these cases since the pandemic started with up to 10 attacks per month on the LGBTQ community. This is clear evidence that Sexual and Gender Minority groups in Kenya, continue to experience abuse and violence simply because of who they are and because of their sexual orientation and gender identities. LGBTQ persons in Kenya and across the world have often been on the receiving end of violence, they suffer stigma, discrimination, physical and verbal abuse, assault, harassment, eviction from their home and communities, loss of job, suspension, or expulsion from school, etc. All transgender persons have a right to equality and freedom from discrimination of all forms. All transgender persons require equal protection against any form of violence. The right to equality includes the full and equal enjoyment of all human rights and fundamental freedoms. Transgender persons do not want special rights. Basic human rights are not special rights; the right to get and keep a job based on merit is not a special right, the right to be served food in a restaurant is not a special right; the right to have a roof over one’s head is not a special right; the right to walk down a street and not be attacked because of who you are and whom you love is not a special right. The Government of Kenya should ensure its laws and systems protect Transgender persons just like any other citizen of Kenya against all forms of violence and discrimination. The Government of Kenya should commit to end all forms of violence and discrimination against transgender persons, by publicly condemning any major instances of homophobic and transphobic violence that occur in the counties and in the country in general. We are all beautiful, we deserve love and we all have the right to live with dignity and respect. As we just marked and celebrated the Transgender Day of Remembrance, celebrated every 19th of November, which memorializes victims of transphobic violence, and as we continue to celebrate Transgender Awareness month until the end of November; we remember those in the transgender community who have lost their lives due to violence brought by hate and ignorance and we honor, celebrate, and advocate for the respect of the rights of transgender and gender diverse communities.   Alvin Mwangi,  Sexual Reproductive Health and Rights Advocate and IPPF Africa Region Intern in the Programs Department