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World Contraception Day

26 September 2018

Today is World Contraception Day, a day to reflect on our successes, challenges, and hopes for the future in achieving universal access to family planning for women around the world.

In 2011, CHASE Africa began working with CHAT, our first partner to provide healthcare and family planning services to remote and marginalised communities in Kenya.

Using an innovative mobile clinic model involving camels, 4x4s, motorbikes, and even nurses travelling on foot with backpacks to traverse the long distances and challenging terrains of the African landscape, CHAT was servicing rural communities in areas that government services and other providers simply could not reach. We were meeting women who had never had access to family planning services before, who had 6, 8, 10 children by the age of 30, and who were unable to break free from the cycle of poverty and unemployment that pregnancy after pregnancy entails. 

CHAT's mobile clinic 4x4


CHAT's solution - provision of high quality family planning education alongside a range of contraceptive and primary healthcare services - was transforming the lives of women, their partners and their children. With the ability to control the number and spacing of their children, families are better able to manage their budgets effectively, to clothe, educate and feed their children properly, and to maintain better health all round. Women and girls are more likely to complete their schooling, pursue meaningful work, and become empowered members of society. The numbers of maternal and newborn deaths and illnesses decrease, and abortion rates, most of which are performed in unsafe conditions, go down. 

With such a successful, simple, and cost-efficient solution to the family planning crisis, the integrated mobile clinic model has grown from strength to strength. Since 2011, we have expanded from one to six partners, and now work across 15 counties in Kenya and Uganda.

Today, we proudly take a look at our achievements over those past seven years, and congratulate our partners and the many people involved in making this work possible.

Our Achievements So Far: 2011-2018
 
Josephine's Story


Every day, our partners meet women in marginalised communities whose lives are transformed by receiving access to modern contraception for the first time.

Earlier this year, we met Josephine at one of CHAT's clinics in Barsloi. A widowed mother of 9 at the age of 30, Josephine had never used family planning until the arrival of the mobile clinic to her village. She decided to have the 5-year implant fitted, and says the knowledge that she will not fall pregnant again has allowed her to pursue work and take part in other activities with confidence.

"I have to congratulate CHAT, because it has really opened us our eyes and opened our minds. If these services had come earlier, I could have had a smaller number of children.

CHAT has come at the right time, because the population is really increasing and poverty is increasing with it. It’s better to reduce the number of children you have, so that at least you can have one or two children you can cater for, rather than having ten who are going to starve at the end of the day."

Josephine wants to become a spokesperson on educating people around the interlinked issues of family planning and the environment, also known as PHE – Population, Health and Environment.

“I’m championing family planning to the rest of the women in the village. The moment you stop having children, you have the strength to go and do so many other activities, rather than just being pregnant, breast feeding, being pregnant, breast feeding…I just wish that CHAT could come here more often, because we still have a number of women who need a lot of education and support around family planning, like I got.”

Read the full story...
Looking To The Future
Despite the huge progress we have made in reaching underserved communities around Kenya and Uganda, there is still a long way to go. It is fantastic to see that Kenya has already reached its Sustainable Development Goal of 58% modern contraceptive prevalence by 2020, but it is important to realise that rates remain well below this target in many poor and rural areas.

We are currently operating in 14 counties in Kenya, but would like to continue to expand our reach to include counties such as Wajir and Mandera in the North East of the country, where contraceptive prevalence is as low as 2%. In Uganda, our new partner RICE WEST NILE successfully began operations this year in Arua county, and we hope to expand into the many other underserved areas in due course.

It costs just £7.50 to provide a woman with a year's worth of family planning. That's a small cost to transform a life.
 
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CHASE Africa

Rockfield House
Horn Street
Nunney
BA11 4NP
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Email: info@chaseafrica.org.uk

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