February | 2016 |

Monthly Archives: February 2016

  • 0

Family Planning Programs Need to Focus on Vulnerable Groups Including Street Children

Category : Naya Blog

A NAYA Forum in Kisumu

By Michael Oliech Okunson (@MikeOkunson)

The number of street children in urban centers in Kenya is on the rise. Most of these children end up in streets due to societal neglect. Whereas some can only trace their roots as far as to the next street in town, some actually do have and know their homes and parents with most of them come from nearby slums.

One of the main reason why we have children on the streets is because of poor family planning. Sex is usually an entertainment tool for a poor man. They are always idle so they have plenty of time to mate. Most of the poor people do give birth to plenty of children because they lack hope. They don’t know if their kids will survive in the harsh environment that surrounds them. Poor hygiene and lack of health care services reproductive health included, makes their children prone to being attacked by diseases so they end up trying their luck by having many kids in case one dies there will be another to replace the dead one. Through this process they end up having many kids that they are unable to take care of and provide for which forces the children to the street to look for ways to survive.

We need to empower slum dwellers when it comes to reproductive health matters. They are one of the forgotten population here in Kenya. Family planning is not known by many men and women in the slums. There is a need in creating awareness in these areas on the importance of using family planning methods. This can be achieved by working with their local leaders and other local entities. After creating awareness we should then avail family planning services to them. These services should be of high quality and free of charge due to their social status.

Also in the streets we do have children of reproductive age. They are also human being so we should approach them and give them the information about family planning and offer these services to them for free.

If we consider these measures I think the issues off street families will be contained and we will be able to deal with the existing street children and get rid of them once and for all. I believe that every child has a right to shelter, food, clothing, security and care. No child should be on the street.

###################

Don’t miss an update.

Follow NAYA KENYA on Facebook and @NAYAKenya  on Twitter.


  • 0

Why Men In Nyanza Fear Getting Involved In Family Planning

Tags :

Category : Naya Blog

PHOTO Mr Okello, FP Male Champion, Migori

By Michael Oliech Okunson (@MikeOkunson)

Male involvement in family planning has been met with great resistance in Nyanza region more so in rural areas. Most men in this region are totally opposed to family planning because of the following reasons.

Majority of men in Nyanza believe that family planning threatens their gender roles in the family. In Nyanza a man is expected to be dominant, authoritarian and capable to provide for his family. Men involved in family planning are usually seen as overpowered and controlled by their wives and unable to provide for the family and to function sexually. They are usually gossiped about all the time. If a man is seen accompanying his wife to the clinic or hospital, people will gossip that he has been over powered by the wife No man would want that so it forces them not to be involved in family planning.

Men in this region desire to have large families. Many of them desire to have a lot of male children to continue with their legacy when they are dead. Majority of them argue that if they have few children, they are afraid that they will be seen as avoiding their male tribal duties to have many children and embracing the western culture. Others fear that death could rob them their children so there is need to have many children to replace the dead ones so there is no need of family planning since it controls birth.

Apart from that men also believe that family planning use causes low libido in women. This will force them to find other partners exposing them and the family to the risk of HIV infections. Others believe that family planning increases libido and promiscuity in women. They argue that since a woman knows she cannot get pregnant and get HIV she can go out and sleep with other men. Some men also associate family planning with diseases such as cancer and blood pressure. Other say that family planning causes early menopause, infertility, child defects and miscarriages

Men in this region fear family planning providers. They fear family planning providers would coerce them to use vasectomy, abandon polygamy and to disclose their HIV status and extra marital sexual activities to their wives. They are usually uncomfortable with discussing sexuality with wives. A lot of traditions in Nyanza communities are not open to discussing issues of sex especially between spouses.

Overt male family planning acceptance is highly stigmatized in Nyanza. Men in rural Nyanza need more family planning education. Male outreach workers and village elders can be used to promote family planning among men and help to correct misconceptions and reduce stigma.

#######################

The article was also published in the Standard Digital Portal, 2/2/2016

###################

Don’t miss an update.

Follow NAYA KENYA on Facebook and @NAYAKenya  on Twitter.


  • 1

Let’s Remember Bali

Tags :

Category : Naya Blog

Photo Courtesy:

By Michael Oliech Okunson (@MikeOkunson)

Three years ago hundreds of youth, civil society organizations and member states, descended into Bali, Indonesia for the Global Youth Forum to identify and discuss issues and priorities facing today and tomorrow’s generation of young people within the context of population and development so as to influence global agenda going forward.

The question that lingers however is whether we have realized the strides that we committed to?

On creating enabling environment for adolescents and youths, the government has actually done very little. A lot of young people still lack access to comprehensive affordable health services that are free from stigma, violence, coercion and discrimination. The sexual rights of young people are not fully protected. Young people are still forced into early marriages and female genital mutilation. Cases of gender based violence in the country is on the rise. We still have LGBTQI discriminated in the country and attacked. Minors and teenagers are being defiled and raped and the perpetrators walk scot free. The killings of sex workers is on the rise in the country. Youth participation in the country is not taken so seriously. Top down development approach is the order of the day. Youths voices are never heard.

Health education to adolescents and young people in the country is not actually reaching all the young people. Majority of the adolescents and young people don’t know their rights to staying healthy and yet It was agreed that the government was to provide non-discriminatory, non-judgmental, rights-based, age appropriate, gender-sensitive health education including youth-friendly, evidence based comprehensive sexuality education that is context specific.

We have less youth friendly services in the country more so in rural areas. In the conference it was agreed that Governments must provide, monitor and evaluate universal access to a basic package of youth-friendly health services (including mental healthcare and sexual and reproductive health services) that are high quality, integrated, equitable, comprehensive, affordable, needs and rights based, accessible, acceptable, confidential and free of stigma and discrimination for all young people but this is not happening at all.

On universal education, quality education, relevant education and inclusive education, we are still lagging behind. We still have young people still learning under a tree and in the burning sun. Education is not actually completely free in the country. We still have a lot of persons living with disability not going to school.

The financing of sexual and reproductive and health rights policies and programs in the country are not usually prioritized for budgetary allocation. Most of the county governments have not implemented the SRHR policies and programs due to the lack of political and financial commitment.

Although we have made some gains on gender equality in the country, Gender inequality is still rampant in the country. Women in the same profession as men are being paid less than men. This is rampant in the informal sector which is a hotbed of many women here in Kenya. We still have not yet achieved the one third gender rule. We can see men fighting women in making sure that this bill is eliminated. We still have women not going to school at all.

I call upon the government to be accountable and when it comes to matters that concern young people. We are the future of this country and we need to be treated with care.

Young people you need to get up and speak out now for a better tomorrow. We have a right to quality education and health care services. Reproductive health is a human right and we deserve to have it. We have a right to take part In public participation, ask questions and access information.we have a right to be protected from harmful practices. Stand up and speak out for a better tomorrow.

#############

Don’t miss an update.

Follow NAYA KENYA on Facebook and @NAYAKenya  on Twitter.

 

 

 

 


Menu Title