The Integrated Community Healthcare Project (ICHP) facilitates the Ministry of Health to extend quality healthcare information and services to the most rural communities
This project focuses on increasing accessibility, uptake and quality of healthcare services for rural communities in the Maasai Mara. It provides an array of healthcare services, but has a focus on creating awareness and access to Sexual Reproductive Health (SRH) education and services across the Maasai Mara Ecosystem through an integrated healthcare approach.
The Maasai Mara currently has a 10.5% population growth comprised of 8% natural growth, 2.5% net in-migration. This means that the population is doubling every 6.5 years. This is the result of an unmet need for family planning. The project is undertaken using a rights-based approach, providing families with accurate information for them to make an informed choice.
Six community health volunteers, trained by the Ministry of Health, are engaged to go door-to-door within their communities providing information and education about sexual reproductive health. If a family decide that they would like to use family planning to space their children and time when next to have a child, they can receive services free of charge through one of four approaches:
The community health volunteers are trained and certified to provide condoms, pills and 3 month injections.
Couples can be referred to visit one of six partner clinics.
The Maa Trust runs six mobile medical camps in rural communities each month where communities can access curative services, child immunisations, antenatal care, postnatal care, HIV testing, cancer screening and the full range of family planning services.
If couples can not access their desired service through one of the other options, the community health volunteer will request the backpack nurse service. This is a nurse from one of the facilities who can travel directly to women in their homes to provide their family planning service of choice, as well as reaching children who are defaulting on their immunisations. This method is particularly important for including women with disabilities.
In 2021, The Maa Trust expanded the focus on sexual reproductive health to include youth and adolescents. The Maasai Mara has one of the highest child pregnancy rates in Kenya, with 41% of girls having their first child before the age of 19. To address this, The Maa Trust constructed a Youth Friendly Centre (YFC) at Talek Community Health Centre, thanks to support from Addax and Oryx Foundation and CHASE Africa. This YFC provides youth and adolescents with a confidential space where they can access medical services and counselling.
In addition, 48 peer mentors have received intensive training and are reaching their peers in school during term time and in villages during school holidays with sexual reproductive health and rights trainings. In 2021, 2211 youth were reached through school-based trainings, and 774 youth were reached through village-based workshops.
Whilst there is great focus on the prevention of child pregnancies, The Maa Trust is currently fundraising to construct a maternity unit that will be able to cater for high-risk pregnancies, including children as young as 10-11 years old, at Talek Community Health Centre.
Through a Rotary and IEEE Smart Village initiative, we have also installed telemedicine in the YFC at Talek Clinic. This will mean that patients can be referred for specialist consultations without having to leave the Mara, ensuring correct diagnoses and rapid, effective treatment.
By the Numbers
people received medical care through the Integrated Community Healthcare Project.
peer mentors trained.
youth and adolescents reached with sexual reproductive health and rights training by peer mentors in 2021.