Maternal and Neonatal Child Health (MNCH) Project
Central to our multi-faceted approach to Maternal and Neonatal Child Health (MNCH) is that at GAHSO we digitally track all pregnancies (pregnant women) using the Community Health Extension Workers (CHEWS) through the Community Health Volunteers (CHVs) right from conception to delivery by use of our m-Birth Mobile Application Technology, hence ensuring strict adherence to full Antenatal Care (ANC). We facilitate the Community Health Volunteers (CHVs) together with male members of the community to pick and accompany pregnant women due for Antenatal care from homes to health facilities hence demystifying pregnancy and childbirth as a women affair only. Three days to the expected delivery date (EDD), we track and safely pick due pregnant mothers with our Tricycle Ambulances from the comfort of their homes for admission and safe hosting within our Maternal Shelters hence enhanced Total Professional Surveillance (TPS) 24/7. Three days before and after delivery, we employ the harnessed potentials, skills and experience of the Traditional Birth Attendants (TBAs) to offer moral, psychological and social support and care for the pregnant women within the maternal shelters hence (Zero risky home-based deliveries) and eventually using our standby Tricycle Ambulance for quick obstetric emergency evacuations and referrals for pregnant mothers and any other emergency situation in the community. We train and mentor healthcare providers especially nurses to change their attitudes towards pregnant women and to handle the pregnant women in a humane manner to enable acceptance by the pregnant mothers to delivery at the health facilities.
GAHSO uses an integrated participatory community capacity development for health education promotion, behavior change communication and prudent resource management design to help address the socio-economic factors and the rigid health seeking behaviors among community members especially the expectant mothers. The project therefore seeks to train and equip pregnant mothers, traditional birth attendants, healthcare providers and rural healthcare facilities with knowledge on child nutrition, modern delivery, humane handling of pregnant mothers by healthcare providers and home-based care skills.
NON-COMMUNICABLE DISEASES (NCDS): M-KINGA
“M-KINGA” Mobile Application Technology is a multi-faceted healthcare digital solution designed to combat both non-communicable and communicable diseases among Kenyan population. Its objective is to facilitate aggressive advocacy, awareness and sensitization on life style changes and risk/predisposing factors, promotion of linkage and reviews, location and quick access to security, healthcare and emergency services, knowledge management and general information sharing on general diseases between the Ministry of Health and the general public at the household level. In the wake up to the menacing Corona Virus Disease (COVID-19), Kenyans need verified information on COVID-19 and other NCDs like Cancer, Diabetes and Cardiovascular Diseases whose death toll surpass even the COVID-19. While NCDs are long-term conditions that often can reduce one’s life expectancy, they can be managed through thorough public sensitization, medical treatment and lifestyle changes advocacy. Citizens have the right to receive appropriate information on reducing the risk of NCDs and accordingly should be empowered to take the right lifestyle choices. This project will help in complimenting the Universal Health Care (UHC) Program of the Government through the various features and activities the M-Kinga Mobile Application will have.
WATER, SANITATION, AND HYGIENE (WASH)
GAHSO proposed to Implement “An Improved Access to Clean Drinking Water, Hygiene and Sanitation among Fisher-folk Communities living along Lake Victoria Beaches”. There is dire need to manage the rising cases of morbidities and mortalities resulting from consuming unclean water from the lake and rivers through healthy behavior change communication and use of water purification gadgets by the un(der)served households living around the Lake Victoria beaches in Homabay County. The intervention shall enable the huge number of local residents to access and use the technologically advanced water purification gadgets both at home and in the field, especially by those spending the entire day/night fishing in the lake and entirely depending on the contaminated lake water and or to some extent occasionally carry boiled drinking water with them from home.
Global Cooling Initiative:
This program seeks to restore and conserve the degraded environment and to boost food security level that can sustainably support both the current and future generations. GAHSO shall work with women, men, youth and children, small scale farmers, fishermen, business men, church leaders in the lake basin areas through their established groups and village development committees. This program shall entail agro forestry, organic farming, soil and water conservation programs through individual and community institutions capacity building approach. Every homestead, church compound, trading center, school compound, and health units among other community institutions and spaces shall be purposefully targeted and used to plant trees and fruits.
2. FOOD SECURITY AND REGENERATIVE AGRICULTURE.
One of the greatest contributing factors to food insecurity and hunger within the Western parts of Kenya especially Nyanza Province; Homabay County is untimely land preparation, planting, weeding and harvesting. This is majorly attributed to lack of farming implements especially the ploughing oxen. This program aims at boosting food security levels through the use of productive and cost effective traditional and modern methods which include among others; organic farming, kitchen gardening, ‘sack gardening’ and dry farming. This shall involve the use of the locally available organic matter, farmyard manure to help manage crop pest and diseases, improve soil fertility based on the principle of symbiotic relationship among different farm enterprises such as maximum nutrient recycling within the farm.
Child Poverty Initiative
The care environment of young children – particularly those under the age of five years – remains largely unknown because they are kept within the confines of the homes. Many governments have no policy addressing the needs of these children, yet conditions under which children live in early years are a strong determinant of what they become in adulthood. Within a background of poverty and HIV/AIDS, the ability of traditional safety nets of communities to accommodate the increasing number of orphaned children is increasingly being undermined. GAHSO proposes to harness local knowledge, practices and resources to improve the care environment of young children in selected sub-counties in Homabay County.
WIDOWS ENTREPRENEURSHIP DEVELOPMENT
This program seeks to equip widows with modern business entrepreneurial skills and knowledge that will enable them sustainably meet the household low-income challenges and basic necessities with an aim of improving the living standards of widows and their dependants. This program shall invest in building the human capacities in line with the current business initiatives/ ventures before the widow groups are granted soft loans at manageable interest rates. This is an integrated community saving mechanism called ‘Merry-go round’ that used to provide safety nets for survival. It will help reduce widows’ vulnerability to inheritance and prostitution as most widows shall be self-reliant and knowledgeable, the essence is to improve the living standards of widows and their families as the effects are felt at the individual, household and community levels. The beneficiaries’ increased income shall help cater for household budget on basic necessities the poor widows and children are mostly deprived of. Scaling up shall be done to absorb more other widows and vulnerable women at the village, sub-location and location levels. This intervention shall, in the near future, enable prudent utilization of other financial institutions like Kenya Women Trust Fund (KWTF), Women Enterprise Fund (WEF) and banks for easy access to loans.
TECHNICAL SKILLS DEVELOPMENT PROJECT.
Homabay and Siaya Counties has recorded increased poverty levels, high unemployment levels, escalating drug and substance abuse, teenage pregnancies, early marriages, sexually transmitted diseases, HIV/AIDS, mental health and Sexual and Gender-Based Violence (SGBV) and low households’ food and cash incomes brought about by financial and technical resource constraints. These issues are further exacerbated by poverty, peer pressure and idleness, and lack of access to sexuality and reproductive health information and services. In order to address these myriads of socio-economic problems, GAHSO has initiated the establishment of a Community Resource and Training Centre for Social and Technical Skills development programs. This program majorly seeks to socially and technically equip youths out of school and widows with knowledge and skills to become professionals in various fields such as tailoring, bakery, mechanics, electrical and electronics, plumbing, masonry, carpentry, hair plaiting, driving, ICT and welding among others life skills courses in psycho-social support, mentorship and counseling to curb the rising mental health menace currently on the rise in Homabay County. Teenage mothers, other pupils and students who, for various reasons, may not successfully complete their education will be enrolled into this program based on the need-based eligibility criteria set by the organization and community stakeholders.
INTER-GENERATIONAL MENTORSHIP PROGRAMME
These are activities that increase cooperation, interaction or exchange between any two generations. It involves the sharing of skills, knowledge and experience between the young and the old. This program is a great way to teach the values of people caring for each other and as different generations get to know more about the other, negative stereotypes and barriers they create begin to fall away as various skills, values and experience are imparted. The program reinvented the traditional education and mentorship that used to be provided to the young people by grandparents. The conventional sites for such educational and mentorship used the traditional huts where young people used to do sleepover.
It uses empowerment theory framework to design and evaluate intergenerational program. This empowerment theory is based on the traditional belief system and practice that young people are freer to discuss sexual issues with grandparents than parents. It is also believed that grandparents are less disciplinarians which make them more accessible, understanding and accommodative. Grandparents are also known to use idioms, stories, fairy tales, wise saying, proverbs and other narrative skills that capture interest and attention and highly resonate well with young people. This program shall help restore morality, reduce incidences of HIV infections, and enhance responsible living through acquisition of social skills, improved parent-child communication and cooperation.
GAHSO recognizes the digital literacy gap between parents/ caregivers and their children. Raising a digital child by an Analogue parent/caregiver is a catastrophe in waiting. Many adults including teachers are not technological savvy and hence children exploit this to their advantage.
GAHSO intends to establish community computer labs/ resource centers within the selected sub-counties in Homabay County to help build the capacities of local parents/guardians/ caregivers to be literate digitally to enable respond to digital parental obligation and to help manage access to internet and other materials by their children to help prevent suicide, addiction and to enable children grow up as responsible citizens by prudent use and or access to internet by the younger generation.