Conservation is about people and wildlife. Reaching out to the mountain communities is key to our work. Our Field Co-ordinator Humphrey Munene and Health Officer Delphin Mukira set out every month to visit schools and communities to show environmental awareness films, provide healthcare and family planning services and talk to children and adults.
Community Health Project
Kenya has a very young population and a very rapid population growth rate. The country’s population has grown from 2.9 million to almost 40 million people within a century with almost three quarters of the population is under 30 years old. By 2020, the UN predicts that the Kenyan population will have reached over 51 million (World Population Prospects, 2016).
The current population explosion in Kenya is contributing to increased level of poverty and a rapid depletion of natural resources and biodiversity. By providing hard to reach communities family planning and health services, the MKT works to reverse the population trend thereby improving the current environmental situation and alleviate suffering.
The current MKT Community Health Service Project (CHSP) reaches out to two counties on the Mount Kenya Reserve forest boundary. These are rural and hard to reach clients living in Embu and Meru County. Demand for family planning in these areas is especially high, as women cannot access the health facilities that are closer to towns.
More than a 1,000 women a month receive a method of family planning and an additional 500 benefit from the other health services provided. Contraception ranges from oral contraceptive pills, Depo-Provera, Implanon, Jadelle or an IUCD.
The project employs nine door-to-door Community Based Distributors (CBDs) who work throughout the month and also run two weekly clinics each month. Four clinic days are held in Embu and three clinic days in Meru. During these clinic outreaches, MKT offers free family planning, primary health care, HIV testing and counselling and cancer screening (prostate, cervical and breast cancer).
The CBDs mobilise community members and create awareness on family planning, HIV testing and counselling throughout the month. These individuals are invaluable to the project through their door-to-door services and the relationships and trust they build up in their communities. They provide information on contraception, distributing oral contraceptives and condoms and transfer patients to their nearest health facility if further assistance is needed. The HIV counsellor also does HIV testing and counselling and creates awareness on HIV/AIDS prevention and management throughout the month.
Education visits are organised with the Kenya Wildlife Service who deploy an officer to join us. We reach over 2000 children per outreach every three to four months. We teach conservation activities and reading material including our own Mount Kenya Ecology booklet, which can be downloaded here.
We support a growing number of school tree nurseries where the students are encouraged to nurture and plant their own seedlings in the school grounds or in their homes. Large energy saving jikos are also provided to schools when available to reduce their fuel bills when cooking.