Health is a major challenge in Africa. The chance of an African woman dying because of pregnancy and childbirth related complications and diseases are 20 times greater than in the United States. Furthermore, 75% of all HIV-positive women in the world are African. The slums and the rural areas lag behind in several key health indicators; only 50% of children under one year are fully immunized, 50% of patients at first outpatient visit are reporting to have Malaria while 17% of ante-natal mothers are HIV positive. Only 38% of households have access to clean water (source: KNBS 2009).
The doctor patient ratio is 1:91,000. There is need for concerted efforts to address these issues among the women of slums and the rural areas and this is one of SYN key priorities.
• Work closely with communities in the Slums and Rural areas including partnership with local authorities to improve access to health services for women by not only developing additional health facilities by providing and ensuring availability of adequate equipment, personnel and drugs to the people especially women.
• Increasing coverage of HIV prevention care and treatment services – bringing comprehensive care clinics to lower level facilities to reduce cost of accessing services to HIV positive residents
• Engage in health promotion and illness prevention activities including use of bed nets to prevent malaria, hand washing to reduce diarrheal diseases particularly among children, HIV testing and safer sex practices (within the context of marriage) to reduce HIV incidence. • Advocate against gender based violence and encourage access to medical and legal services for victims
• Promote sanitation programs that ensure access to pit latrines for all communities especially for communities particularly in the Slums.
• Ensure access to clean water for all households in slums and the rural areas. This will be done in partnership with the county water authorities and development partners that focus on access to water for communities.
• Promote programs that work towards environmental conservation including reforestation programs, community market clean-up programs and preservation of water bodies. Swahiba Youth Networks in partnership with Donor Community built the AO Medical Hospital in Bar Agulu, Siaya County to mitigate the stated health challenges in the area.