Gender inequalities in society are a major barrier to realizing the right to health because of their impact on equitable access to health-care services and consequent impact on avoidable morbidity, mortality and well-being. Promoting gender equality in health is thus a major component of promoting the right to health of all people. (WH0, 2010).
Afya Uzazi implements a gender strategy that includes specific and transformative interventions integrated within different program components to promote positive health outcomes for men, women, adolescents and children. These interventions are informed by a gender analysis the project conducted in Baringo and Nakuru counties
Recommendations from gender analysis
Recommendations for facility-based interventions were:
Engage men as clients and equal partners in health services. During Male Service Days, offer men health checks
Integrate gender-based violence response services in health facilities.
Ensure that healthcare workers respect, protect, and fulfill client’s legal rights to healthcare regardless of age, sex, marital status, or parity.
Recommendations for community-based interventions were:
Create community groups for men to encourage dialogue, interaction, and reflection on healthy relationships.
Engage male influencers such as chiefs, community leaders, and members of the men’s community groups to hold ongoing community dialogues at barazas about gender roles and beliefs, male engagement as clients and partners, and gender-based violence
Create a mass media campaign that encourages men to take an active role as caregivers and seek healthcare services, including accompanying their partners to maternal and child health services.
Integrate gender and economic strengthening components to support groups for young mothers to support groups for young mothers should facilitate dialogue on harmful gender-related beliefs, couples’ communication, joint decision-making, and gender-based violence
Support SCHMTs to provide supportive supervision and make follow-up on the documentation on the GBV cases in the post rape care registers which were issued to health facilities in PY2.
Provide cluster orientation for the HCWs on PRC and form response units through the sub-county SGBV clusters. The SGBV clusters are constituted by individuals from a range of institutions the offer distinct services including offer health, psychosocial, and legal services to survivors of violence
The project will support continuous mentorship to HCWs on RMC and integrate SGBV in the training
Train individual male influencers (chiefs, village elders, pastors, Nyumba Kumi, neighbors, parents, friends respected community leaders or community health volunteers) as male champions for SGBV prevention and supporting them to reach out to men in various groups to provide messages on norm change and mobilize them for RMNCAH-FP services
Target men with key FPRMNCAH messages including SGBV prevention at the chiefs baraza, community dialogue days and men only social networks and sensitize chefs and sub-chiefs in all the sub-locations to integrate FPRMNCAH messages in their messaging to the communities
Establish dedicated men’s desk at the integrated outreaches and provide Peer session on SGBV prevention and male involvement on PF-RMNCAH including encouraging men to accompany their spouses to the clinics
Utilize international days such as the world contraceptive days, 16 days of gender activism, international day of girl child among others to advocate for GBV prevention, meaningful male involvement and demystify negative gender norms such as FGM
Support the youth champions to reach the young fathers with GBV prevention messages and other SRH information and services at community level
Implement male targeted HH level interventions though Champion Community Model and dedicate male specific checklist with male Small Doable Actions (SDAs) and provide certificate of merit to men who successfully complete all the seven accelerator behaviors and magnify them at the community level celebrations to influence other men
Scale up Binti Shujaa intervention to reach out to more adolescents with skills on couple communications alongside ANC, SBA, PNC and PPFP and integrate economic strengthening and return to school components targeting young mothers. Economic strengthening activities include skill building on savings, initiation of income generating activities such as soap machining and linking the young mothers to the micro financial institution officers for mentorship.
Gender is also integrated in Monitoring, Evaluation, Research and Learning (MERL), ensuring the collection, analysis and publication of information on health outcomes, coverage and social determinants disaggregated by sex and age.