Aug 31, 2010

Culture and Context Mix in Kenya: Camel Clinics Bring Condoms to Nomads


In the most remote regions of Kenya, where paved roads and vehicles are scarce, people rely on camel clinics to bring them condoms, HIV testing/counseling and family planning services. Since 2006, the Nomadic Communities Trust (NCT) which is a community based health service organization, has used camels to reach the Samburu people with their mobile clinics.  In addition to providing condoms and drugs, they are able to access reproductive health services such as antenatal and palliative care. By appreciating the context of the region, NCT knew they had to be innovative in their strategy. Government officials have struggled to bring HIV services to Samburu due to poverty, illiteracy, and traditional cultural practices such as polygamy. All of these factors have contributed to the high level of HIV infection.  In 2007, the Kenya AIDS Indicator Survey estimated the Samburu district had a HIV prevalence of 6.1, which was only slightly lower than the national average of 7.4. NCT has trained 45 locals to provide information and condoms about HIV. With their efforts, community health workers have seen a gradual change in the attitudes of the people they have serviced.  There has been wide acceptance of condom use, whereas in the past, many Samburu people didn’t know what a condom meant.   So far they have reached more than 68, 000 with their efforts.  LIFE FOR MOTHERS (LFM) applauds the work of NCT by recognizing the culture and unique context of its people and place. We also strive to bring innovative solutions by implementing a holistic strategy to reduce maternal/neonatal mortality through women’s empowerment and health system strengthening. Here is the link to the article:

Did you know?

In Africa and South Asia, complications during pregnancy and childbirth are the leading cause of death for women of childbearing age.

Source:United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), 2010

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