Naya Blog |

Category Archives: Naya Blog

  • 0

Trump Policy on Transgender Uninformed, Reckless and Unwarranted

Tags :

Category : Naya Blog

By Robert Aseda, (Varaq)

A few weeks ago, Donald Trump, the US president, in his usual style, made a very important public policy declaration on social media: the banning of transgender soldiers from American Army arguing that their inclusion somehow makes the US Army unfocused and disrupted from their main agenda. He further argued that they are expensive to maintain due to the astronomical medical costs involved; Claims that are not only factually untrue and not based on any scintilla of evidence, but are misguided, inflammatory and likely to cause severe physical, emotional and psychological anguish not just to the US Transgender soldiers but to the lesbian, gay, transgender and queer community throughout the globe.

America may be so far away, but this declaration will have ramifications the world over. Like the Biblical city on the hill, which opens its light for all to to see, America definitely plays a huge role in defining global policy on a number of issues. 

Of course it defeats logic for one of the most powerful people on earth to insinuate that somehow who you are or who you love could make you incompetent or render your services and sacrifices unwanted and unappreciated.

Worrying still scrolling through the comments on social media, a huge percentage still felt this action necessary and timely, despite the exclusionist and segregationist agenda that it seeks to spread.

Whereas very unfortunate and grossly misinformed, this ill advised declaration has opened a very important discussion not just on the specific rights of trans soldiers but on the not so discussed and often misunderstood issues of sexual orientation and gender identity.

Gender and sexual minorities including the LGBT community have continued to face untold misery, discrimination and violence due to how they identify or who they love. In his first report to the Human Rights Council, the United Nations Independent Expert on Protection against Violence and Discrimination based on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity, narrated how throughout the world, this community still face major human rights violations including denial 0f access to crucial services including healthcare, justice, education, security among others.

“Even though human rights are inherent to everyone and propel protection for all persons without exception, regrettably persons with an actual or perceived sexual orientation and/or gender identity diverging from particular societal norms are at times targeted for violence and discrimination including killings, rape, mutilation, arbitrary detention, mental health assault and bullying from a young age, ” a section of the report reads.

It’s very important to remind ourselves, that there’s more to a person than who they love or how they identify themselves. But more fundamentally, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the founding human rights law, reminds us that everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status. The deprivation of a right hinders fulfillment and enjoyment of other human rights.

We may not agree on a number of issues, but we definitely agree that exclusion, discrimination and violence has no place in the 21st century. Not just because it is against international and national instruments, but also because it has no benefit whatsoever, other than entrenching further inequalities.

In many countries throughout the world including Kenya, despite constitutional provisions to non discrimination, the penal code still propagates discrimination and violation of human rights to dignity, association, the right to recognition everywhere as a person among several others. During the last Universal Periodic Review Cycle, Kenya committed to developing a comprehensive anti-discriminatory law. It’s time to walk the talk.

If we are to realize the Kenya and the world we want; if we are to realize Vision 2030 and the global Sustainable Development Goals; then we can’t afford to leave anyone behind, for any reason, the least being sexual orientation and gender identity.

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

Don’t miss an update.

Follow NAYA KENYA on Facebook and @NAYAKenya on Twitter


  • 1
Non-Communicable Diseases Impoverishing Families

Non-Communicable Diseases Impoverishing Families

Tags :

Category : Naya Blog

Daniel Otieno

Youth Advocate, Network for Adolescents and Youth of Africa, Naya Kenya.

Much is spent on treating non-communicable diseases and more disturbing is that the spending may be in a life time as some non-communicable illnesses are not curable. There are fears that by 2020 non-communicable diseases may double communicable diseases in developing countries. Kenya is recording progress by availing drugs for the treatment of breast cancer in Kenyatta National Hospital and also setting referral hospitals as well as equipping them with treating equipment.

 

A major challenge, however, is the limited financial allocations to the health sector, Limited prioritization of prevention of non-communicable diseases and inadequate implementation of policies relating to elimination of non-communicable diseases. A good example is the national school health policy that targets the elimination of non-communicable diseases among school going children. Non-communicable diseases impact negatively on the economy of households. Eliminating non-communicable diseases begins with setting a health financial strategy. This will ensure adequate money is allocated for treatment and setting screening equipment in public health facilities.

 

This will make treatment affordable. Prioritization of non-communicable diseases should also take equity in resource allocation. Persons in marginalized areas should be able to access affordable treatment, services, and information on non-communicable diseases.  Policies that will promote screening on NCDs at the community level will also increase the number of people seeking treatment. This will promote the preventive aspect of non-communicable diseases. Policies implementation also includes making effective the national school health policy which will enable reduction of non-communicable diseases among children. Finally public and private partnership will subsidize the cost of treating non-communicable diseases. In allocating resources for treating non-communicable diseases, let us strike a balance in prevention and curative aspects of non-communicable diseases.

 

Follow us on Twitter @NAYAKenya Facebook NAYA Kenya


  • 0
Equal Distribution Of Health Resources Will Enable Reduction Of Noncommunicable Diseases Within Counties

Equal Distribution Of Health Resources Will Enable Reduction Of Noncommunicable Diseases Within Counties

Tags :

Category : Naya Blog

By Daniel Otieno.

Network For Adolescents And Youth Of Africa, Naya Kenya

Photo Courtesy: internewskenya.org.

The promulgation of Kenya constitution in 2010 made health a devolved function. Through this devolution, each county was to manage its own health system with resources from the national government. However, Kenya counties still lack adequately trained health workers and drug supplies needed to manage the provision of health services including prevention of non-communicable diseases. The Abuja declaration requires each country to allocate 15% of its national budget to the health sector.

 

However, Kenya’s allocation to health is still below the target. A limited number of health workers, a few screening equipment, cost of treatment, unequal distribution of resources among counties and limited drug supply are responsible for increased cases of non-communicable diseases. Marginalized areas bear the greatest burden of non-communicable diseases due to poverty, distance to health facility, adherence to drugs and lack of efficient health services. In addition, there has also been limited implementation of national school health policy that is to address noncommunicable diseases among learners.

 

According to world health organization, cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes and respiratory diseases are the major non-communicable diseases that negatively impact on individual health. Poverty at county level not only increases the prevalence of non-communicable diseases due to poor nutrition or unhealthy eating habits but also poor health seeking behavior’s that are characterized by a delay in screening. Reducing the prevalence of non-communicable diseases at the county level will contribute to reduction at the national level. In order to achieve this, we must first identify needs of the counties in relation to prevention of non-communicable diseases, for instance, the capacity of medical personnel, availability of drugs and screening equipment. Secondly, we must ensure the limited resources are prioritized to provide the minimal standard of services required.

Immediate allocation of 15% of national budget to health may not possible but we can have a starting point and make it progressive. Progressive reduction of noncommunicable diseases at the county level will then lead to a reduction in the national prevalence of non-communicable diseases.

 

Follow us on @NAYAKenya on TWitter and NAYA Kenya on Facebook.


  • 0
accounting_intern_wanted

Accounting Intern Wanted

Category : Naya Blog

NAYA-Kenya, a reputable regional SRHR advocacy network is looking for an Accounting Intern to assist the Finance Department with the following duties:

  • Filing documents
  • Ensure all finance and admin related documents are properly filed
  • Maintain a proper filing system
  • Reconciles bank statements
  • On a monthly basis, check and post all bank charges
  • Prepare bank reconciliation statements for all bank accounts
  • Ensure reconciliations are checked, approved and properly filed with the related bank statements
  • Maintaining the fixed assets register
  • Continuously update and maintain the fixed assets register
  • Ensure all assets are properly insured and the insurance list is properly updated.
  • Follow up for insurance claims
  • Maintain confidentiality
  • Any privileged information must remain confidential
  • Sharing information and printing of financial and admin records to other staff members or third parties must be subject to express and individual approval.
  • Any other duties as may be assigned.

Requirement

  • Must be at least a holder of CPA Part 1.
  • Any other qualification relating to Finance will be an added advantage.

How to apply

Applicants must submit their cover letter and CV to info@nayakenya.org by no later than the 5th June 2017.

If you do not hear from us within 4 weeks from the closing date, kindly consider your application unsuccessful and any further correspondence will be entered with only shortlisted candidates.

NB: The accounting intern will be based at NAYA’s Nairobi office.


  • 0
Increased Financial Allocations to Health Is Key to Eliminating Non-Communicable Diseases

Increased Financial Allocations to Health Is Key to Eliminating Non-Communicable Diseases

Category : Naya Blog

By Daniel Otieno.

 

According to world Health Organization, heart diseases, cancer, diabetes and respiratory diseases are the four major non-communicable diseases taking a toll on life both among children and adults. Physical inactivity, eating habits, alcohol and tobacco use are also the major risk factors attributed to the non-communicable diseases. Young people owing to their eating habits and lifestyles bear the biggest burden of non-communicable diseases. Young people represent a group that will rarely engage in physical exercise, often enjoy junk foods and alcohol.

According to WHO non-communicable diseases, Kenya country profiles of 2014, cardiovascular and respiratory diseases accounts for a bigger percentage of non-communicable diseases among men and women below 70 years. Men are most affected as the statistics reveal 13% and 14% for cardiovascular and respiratory disease and 12% and 13% for cardiovascular and respiratory disease among women. This arrives at a conclusion that men may be engaging more in alcohol and tobacco use compared to women as these two factors are highly responsible for lung diseases. In light of these factors, several strategies are necessary.

First, we must make health services available and affordable to all. Our health facilities must be well equipped with equipment’s and drugs required. Gratefully Kenya has made a major step in providing the first batch of breast cancer to patients at Kenyatta National Hospital. With devolution, it’s time we also ensure adequate financial allocations for the treatment of noncommunicable diseases especially cancer and heart disease. The Abuja declaration requires that 15 % of national budget be allocated to health. Allocation in Kenya currently stands at 5 %. Mandatory prepayment will also ensure everyone with or without symptoms contributes towards financing health as is done with the national health Insurance Fund. The point of care fee for non-communicable diseases must also be eliminated to ensure affordable health.

Political goodwill ensures equitable distribution of health resources in each county. With transparency and accountability in managing health funds, counties will have enough resources including drugs and personnel to meet the population demands. Non-communicable diseases have been prioritized in the  National Medium Term Plan (MTPII) 2014-2018; National Health Strategic Plan (KNSSP) 2014-2018; the United Nations Development Assisted Framework (UNDAF) 2014-2018 for Kenya; and the Kenya third generation WHO Country Cooperation Strategy (2014-2019).Implementing these provision will take us a long way in fighting and eliminating non-communicable diseases. To eliminate the incidence of non-communicable diseases among children, implementing the national school health policy is also necessary.

 

Follow us on @NAYAKenya on TWitter and NAYA Kenya on Facebook.


  • 0
Eliminating Drug and Substance Abuse Will Prevent Noncommunicable Diseases Among Young People

Eliminating Drug and Substance Abuse Will Prevent Noncommunicable Diseases Among Young People

Category : Naya Blog

Daniel Otieno

Availability of alcohol and tobacco, affordable price, peer influence, inadequate implementation of alcohol control act and inadequate preventive education on drug and substance abuse are responsible for drug and substance abuse among young people. Commonly abused drugs in Kenya include Prescription Drugs – including sex enhancement drugs, tobacco, Miraa or khat, Inhalants and Solvents, and alcohol. Due to legal penalties linked to use of bhang, Heroin, and Cocaine, abuse of these three is usually in secluded places though their effects on individual health are usually higher compared to the effects of other substances. Use of tobacco and alcohol are among the risk factors for non-communicable diseases including the mouth, throat cancer, and lung diseases. In 2015, a survey of 17 counties on alcohol and drug abuse conducted by the National Authority for the Campaign against Alcohol and Drug Abuse (NACADA), revealed a high use of drugs and alcohol by school-going teenagers. According to this study, alcohol was the most abused whereas prescription drugs was the most accessible.

In Kenya, the ministry of education in conjunction with the ministry of public health has developed national school health policy that targets reduction of non-communicable diseases among school going children. However, the policy implementation has experienced gaps in terms of keeping bars and tobacco away from learning institutions and also ensuring that children who are not in school are free from non-communicable diseases.

World Health Organization identifies the use of alcohol and tobacco, physical inactivity and eating habits as some of the risk factors to non-communicable diseases. Though preventable, cancer and lung diseases have been a major cause of adolescents’ mortalities and morbidities. To prevent effects of drug abuse among youth and adolescents immediate implementation of some health policies are necessary. First is the alcohol control act of 2010.This act prevents selling alcohol to persons under 18 years as well as selling unlicensed alcohol. However young people even below 15 have continued streaming bars and cigarette shops. Where are the authorities? Another act relating to prevention of non-communicable diseases is the national school health policy. Implementation of this policy can as well ride on alcohol prevention act to prevent accessibility to drug and substance abuse among young people, both in and out of school. Rehabilitation programs in addition to the effective provision of youth friendly services also play a significant role.   Rehabilitation from drug and substance abuse in Kenya is expensive. There is

In 2015, a survey of 17 counties on alcohol and drug abuse conducted by the National Authority for the Campaign against Alcohol and Drug Abuse (NACADA), revealed a high use of drugs and alcohol by school-going teenagers. According to this study, alcohol was the most abused whereas prescription drugs was the most accessible. In Kenya, the ministry of education in conjunction with the ministry of public health has developed national school health policy that targets reduction of non-communicable diseases among school going children. However, the policy implementation has experienced gaps in terms of keeping bars and tobacco away from learning institutions and also ensuring that children who are not in school are free from non-communicable diseases. World Health Organization identifies the use of alcohol and tobacco, physical inactivity and eating habits as some of the risk factors to non-communicable diseases. Though preventable, cancer and lung diseases have been a major cause of adolescents’ mortalities and morbidities. To prevent effects of drug abuse among youth and adolescents immediate implementation of some health policies are necessary. First is the alcohol control act of 2010.This act prevents selling alcohol to persons under 18 years as well as selling unlicensed alcohol. However young people even below 15 have continued streaming bars and cigarette shops. Where are the authorities? Another act relating to prevention of non-communicable diseases is the national school health policy. Implementation of this policy can as well ride on alcohol prevention act to prevent accessibility to drug and substance abuse among young people, both in and out of school. Rehabilitation programs in addition to the effective provision of youth friendly services also play a significant role.   Rehabilitation from drug and substance abuse in Kenya is expensive. There is

However, the policy implementation has experienced gaps in terms of keeping bars and tobacco away from learning institutions and also ensuring that children who are not in school are free from non-communicable diseases. World Health Organization identifies the use of alcohol and tobacco, physical inactivity and eating habits as some of the risk factors to non-communicable diseases. Though preventable, cancer and lung diseases have been a major cause of adolescents’ mortalities and morbidities. To prevent effects of drug abuse among youth and adolescents immediate implementation of some health policies are necessary. First is the alcohol control act of 2010.This act prevents selling alcohol to persons under 18 years as well as selling unlicensed alcohol. However young people even below 15 have continued streaming bars and cigarette shops. Where are the authorities? Another act relating to prevention of non-communicable diseases is the national school health policy. Implementation of this policy can as well ride on alcohol prevention act to prevent accessibility to drug and substance abuse among young people, both in and out of school. Rehabilitation programs in addition to the effective provision of youth friendly services also play a significant role.   Rehabilitation from drug and substance abuse in Kenya is expensive. There is need for providers of youth friendly services to prioritize rehabilitation from addiction in their programs. Provision of information on drugs and substance abuse cannot be underestimated. Education on drug and substance abuse will encounter the myths and misconceptions that drugs promotes academic prowess or eliminates stress. Finally provision of guidance and counseling and peer education will provide young people with life skills to avoid involvement in drug and substance abuse. With the political will to eliminate drug abuse and substance abuse, the effects of tobacco will, therefore, reduce cases of cancer and lung diseases among young people.

Implementation of this policy can as well ride on alcohol prevention act to prevent accessibility to drug and substance abuse among young people, both in and out of school. Rehabilitation programs in addition to the effective provision of youth friendly services also play a significant role. Rehabilitation from drug and substance abuse in Kenya is expensive. There is need for providers of youth friendly services to prioritize rehabilitation from addiction in their programs. Provision of information on drugs and substance abuse cannot be underestimated. Education on drug and substance abuse will encounter the myths and misconceptions that drugs promotes academic prowess or eliminates stress. Finally provision of guidance and counseling and peer education will provide young people with life skills to avoid involvement in drug and substance abuse. With the political will to eliminate drug abuse and substance abuse, the effects of tobacco will, therefore, reduce cases of cancer and lung diseases among young people.


  • 0
Early Education Best Way to Protect Young People from Non-Communicable Conditions

Early Education Best Way to Protect Young People from Non-Communicable Conditions

Tags :

Category : Naya Blog

Daniel Otieno

Published by the standard on May 8, 2017.

Image courtesy: Aga Khan Foundation

There is need to sensitize young people on how to prevent non-communicable diseases. This is because diseases such as cancer and heart conditions can be prevented if treatment is sought early or if healthy eating habits are adopted. The world Health Organization identifies cancer, diabetes, and respiratory and heart conditions as the four main non-communicable diseases. Poor eating habits, use of alcohol and tobacco, and lack of exercise are the main causes of these conditions. In 2009, the Ministry of Education adopted the national school health policy, with one of the targets being reducing the prevalence of non-communicable diseases among school children.

The policy has been instrumental in ensuring that smoking zones and bars are away from learning institutions. Physical activity has also been made part of the curriculum. School feeding programs should be accompanied by sensitizing on healthy eating habits and learners should be encouraged to always eat healthily. It is a reality that all young people prefer junk food that is often rich in cholesterol, thereby increasing chances of obesity and heart problems.

Secondly, there is need for more awareness on drug abuse and its role in cancer and respiratory diseases. Due to peer pressure, affordability and availability youth have fallen prey to drug and substance abuse. Preventive education would, therefore, reduce cases of cancer and respiratory diseases. Physical education should also incorporate sensitization on good health including fighting obesity and stroke. Peer education should also be encouraged to increase information flow on non-communicable diseases among children.

 

Follow us on @NAYAKenya on TWitter and NAYA Kenya on Facebook.


  • 0
Breast Cancer drug a step in the right direction

Breast Cancer drug a step in the right direction

Tags :

Category : Naya Blog

By Daniel Otieno, Nairobi

Friday, March 31, 2017, DAILY NATION

Breast cancer survivors will now be receiving their free dose of medicine at Kenyatta National Referral Hospital. This is thanks to the efforts of the government and advocates of resource allocation towards the treatment of cancer and other non-communicable diseases.

But as the government makes Herceptin, the breast cancer drug, available, it must also focus on sustainability of the program. It should encourage competition in the medical field by ensuring county governments have a greater role in training medical personnel.

Health workers’ role in the program cannot be underestimated. They must be motivated through refresher courses, incentives and an enabling environment that includes the availability of screening equipment.

The community, particularly the youth, must be sensitized and motivated to adopt health-seeking behaviors, including an early screening of cancer. The national school health policy, which, among other things, targets elimination of non-communicable diseases among learners, should be implemented.

Besides increased financial allocations, the state should also strengthen referral mechanisms to other public health facilities. Sensation should target everyone, including hoteliers, as young people who consume junk food and develop cardiac problems and obesity is their kin.


  • 0
Breast Cancer drug offers reprieve for many patients

Breast Cancer drug offers reprieve for many patients

Tags :

Category : Naya Blog

By Daniel Otieno, Nairobi

Friday, March 31, 2017, The Standard

Survivors of breast cancer now have a reason to smile as they receive their first free dose of medication from Kenyatta National Hospital. This is thanks to efforts by the Government and everyone who has been advocating for resource allocation for the treatment of cancer and other non-communicable diseases. As we make Herceptin, the breast cancer drug, more readily available, we must also focus on the sustainability of free cancer treatment. How? By encouraging competition in the medical field and ensuring that county governments have a greater role in training medical personnel.

The role of health workers in the implementation of free cancer treatment cannot be underestimated.We must motivate health workers through refresher training, good incentives and enabling environments that include the availability of screening equipment. In addition, young people, in particular, must be sensitized and motivated to adopt health conscious behaviors including early screening for cancer.

We must use this opportunity to implement school health policies that, among other things, target the elimination of non-communicable diseases including cancer among learners.The community must be educated on the benefits of seeking treatment early, healthy eating habits, physical activity and avoiding drug and substance abuse. Finally, the availability of cancer drugs should not stop with Kenyatta hospital but extend to other counties. We must also strengthen referral mechanisms to ensure that cancer survivors in other counties are able to seek specialized services in public health facilities. Sensitization should target everyone.


  • 0

Enact National School Health Policy Urgently

Tags :

Category : Naya Blog

By Daniel Otieno (Network For Adolescents and Youth of Africa)

Sunday, March 12, 2017, The Standard

In 2009, the government through the Ministry of Education in partnership with the Ministry of Public Health and Sanitation launched the national school health policy.

This was in recognition of the numerous health and other social challenges identified among young people. Key among the challenges identified was disease prevention and control, including prevention of non-communicable diseases.

The World Health Organization information series on school health: Document 2 identifies tobacco use, behaviors that result in injury and violence, alcohol and substance use, dietary and hygienic practices, sedentary lifestyle and sexual behavior as major contributors to mortality, morbidity, and disability among the age group of 5-18 years. The development of national school health policy was therefore meant to promote health seeking behavior and enhanced knowledge on the linkages between environment and health. Progress has been made in some thematic areas, for instance, nutrition. However eliminating non-communicable diseases still experiences hitches.

Keeping tobacco and alcohol joints away from learning institutions will also reduce cases of drug abuse. We also promote healthy eating habits through improved programs.


Menu Title