The Small Project supports the work of the mobile clinics operated by Communities Health Africa Trust.

There are literally tens of thousand of women in Kenya with little or no access to family planning. CHAT’s primary focus is the provision of reproductive healthcare and family planning to women living in some of the more remote rural areas of northern and central Kenya.

CHAT does offer a number of other interventions including HIV/AIDS testing and counseling, basic curative care, childhood immunizations, education about health and ecology, and awareness about the dangers of female genital mutilation.

CHAT tries to improve the quality and sustainability of healthcare by helping to develop community based health care workers.

The Importance of Family Planning

Ensuring that women in the developing world have accessible and affordable family planning is an incredibly simple but effective strategy to address three endemic problems:

Poverty, for the family, the community, and by extension the nation
Personal suffering and early death
Environmental degradation

By gaining control of their own reproductive health, family planning affords women the opportunity to space their babies and to limit the number of births they have.

Other benefits that come with family planning include:

  • The number of unskilled abortions and infanticides declines, as unwanted pregnancies occur less frequently.
  • Fewer girls drop out of school on account of unwanted pregnancies. For every year in secondary school, a woman’s wages increase by 25% on average.
  • Because family size is smaller, women are better able to care for their families’ emotional, physical, and economic needs thereby improving the health of their children. Children born three to five years apart are 2.5 times more likely to survive than children born two years apart.
  • As populations stabilize, the demand for natural resources declines and the land is better able to support both wildlife and livestock.
  • The population of livestock population can stabilize, further reducing pressure on pasture and water sources.
  • Degraded environments can begin to recover.
  • Human conflict over pasture land is reduced.
  • Human-wildlife conflict eases and wildlife populations protected. This can lead to more tourism income.

The provision of family planning is one of the few true cost saving health care interventions, with value accruing not just to the women, but to their families, their communities, and the country.

To learn more about the work of CHAT, please visit their website.