THE European Union has donated € 4.4 million (Sh6.2 billion) to improve the reproductive health of women, combat HIV/Aids and empower the health workers with HIV information in 28 counties in the country.
Through its project 'Jiokoe' in coordination with the Marie Stopes Kenya, it also facilitates safe delivery of expectant mothers in the rural and slum areas.
The project which started in November 1, 2011 incorporates stakeholders from the private and public sector to educate communities on the effects of HIV/Aids and the various ways of preventing it. Speaking during the completion of the project at Kapkures Health Centre in Barut area of Nakuru district, the project's manager Bonventure Alutsachi said they promote comprehensive approach towards fighting the high women and children mortality rate during child birth.
"We have so far used 92 per cent of the money helping the health centers to improve their facilities as empowering the workers with more information regarding HIV/Aids, matters of concern with the reproductive health and safe delivery amongst women," said Alusatchi.
While referring to Ganda health centre in Malindi which has reported tremendous improvement since the programme was introduced ,Alutsachi said more aggressive and collective mechanisms should be applied to curb disease infections among the marginalized women. "Before we started educating the health workers at the centre on the safe methods of delivery,only four women in a day could give safely give birth but now we have 18 of them.This gives the inspiration to keep doing more,"said Alusatchi.
In addition to also subsidizing HIV/AIDS products,Alusatchi said they as well mobilize communities to exploit locally available resources to boost their economic welfare. He however noted that although the project is based on the service delivery and government structure, poverty and illiteracy levels are a major hindrance in most of the targeted areas.
Alutsachi lamented that even in the wake of the free primary education of the free, majority of the women who are their major target in the rural and slums settlements cannot read or write.
"Our intention is to empower women in health matters in the most significant ways so that they can also promote the wholesome development of their community's health sector. But it becomes a huge setback with the levels of illiteracy that we experience in the most remote regions of this country," said the project manager. Ends.