In Kenya, there are 587 health care providers all around the country who have been trained and supported by the Reproductive Health Network Kenya (RHNK). These providers are committed to offering quality reproductive health services, including safe abortion, to their clients. They provide these services to all who need them, without judgment. The global Covid-19 pandemic is now challenging them in new ways, yet they continue to find a way to ensure safety and choice remain at the centre of reproductive health care.
RHNK’s ambition is to contribute to the reduction of maternal morbidity and mortality among Kenyan women and girls. Unsafe abortions cause an estimated 7 women to die every day in Kenya. RHNK knows that providing services and safe products is essential to saving women’s lives by preventing unsafe abortions. They engage local leaders, community health workers, pharmacists and youth peer providers, and mobilise communities to increase awareness of reproductive health and safe abortion services.
“RHNK supports the self-management of abortion and telemedicine, and, where we are able, we will deliver abortion pills to girls and women. We are also using WhatsApp to discuss SRHR challenges faced by health care providers and young people due to Covid-19 and the government measures to prevent the disease in Kenya.” Branda Boit, RHNK Programmes Manager
The Covid-19 crisis and lock-down in Kenya, has forced RHNK to expand on their already existing online solutions to train, monitor and coach providers in its network. Here is their Covid-19 action plan:
New RHNK hotline
RHNK has recently launched a new hotline in Kenya, called Nena Na Binti (= Speak Up) for counselling and referral of women and girls in Kenya to trained, youth-friendly, safe abortion providers across the country. It operates 24 hours a day. To contact the hotline:
SOURCES: E-mail from Nelly Munyasia (RHNK), Saskia Hüsken (Rutgers), 23 June 2020 ; Blogpost: Covid-19: The resilience of safe abortion providers in Kenya, by Nelly Munyasia, Saskia Hüsken, 28 May 2020