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The Community-led HIV/AIDS Prevention Project, Kenya

We partnered with SOTENI Kenya to promote prevention of mother-to-child transmission services in the Nyanza province of Kenya.

The need

Kenya is among the sub-Saharan African countries most affected by HIV/AIDS. Nyanza specifically has the highest HIV prevalence in Kenya – more than 15-fold higher than the province with the lowest rate[i]. In 2011, there were approximately 13,000 new child infections[ii] with mother-to-child transmission (MTCT) as the primary cause.

Several societal issues lead to such a high rate of MTCT in Kenya. One important factor is the continued lack of understanding about the correlation between risky sex behaviours and HIV/AIDS.  This ignorance leads to high rates of unsafe sex. For example, data from 2009 showed that 60% of women and 36% of men did NOT use a condom with their most recent partner[iii].

Mother-to-child transmission infections occur during pregnancy, at birth, or through breastfeeding but if a mother takes antiretroviral medicines during pregnancy, the chances of transmission diminish dramatically. Unfortunately, another societal issue is that many women in Kenya don’t have information about the importance of healthcare during or after pregnancy.  Furthermore, around half of all mothers in Kenya still opt for home deliveries with Traditional Birth Attendants (TBAs). TBAs are pregnancy care providers who are often not licensed nor regulated by the government and have no education in healthcare.

i UNAIDS, The Kenya AIDS epidemic, 2011
ii AVERT, HIV/AIDS and Kenya, 2011
iii UNICEF, Kenya: PMTCT Factsheet, 2010

 

Key Facts

Project Name:
Community-led HIV/AIDS Prevention Programme (CHAPP)

Run by:
SOTENI Kenya

Region:
Nyanza Province, Kenya

Populations:
PLWHA; women of child bearing age; all sexually active men and women

Challenges:
Cultural norms; lack of understanding about the importance of local health services and how to access them

Activities:
Educating the community via sessions at local gatherings, support groups, in-home visits and promotional materials; Providing in-home care services; Building networks with other community-based organisations and local health facilities; Creating synergies with our AIDS Barefoot Doctors (ABDs) Programme and working with our ABDs to deliver educational information and care, and increase referrals to local health services