Archive for July, 2014


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The International Harm Reduction Development Program (IHRD) that sits within the public health program at Open Society Foundation’s New York office had a meeting with the Kenya implementing partners on the existing Kenya’s policies that may be impediment for health and rights .
Most of the drugs laws that are in place today were passed in the 1970s and 1980s, with amendments passed in the 1990s that made them more stringent. Drug law sentencing in Kenya is centrally focused on punishing the offender, with little attention paid to rehabilitation, because drug users are seen as “immoral” and their behavior should be deterred.

Despite the fact that article 43 of the Kenyan Constitution expressly states that citizens have the right to the highest attainable standard of health, including the right to health care services, and that Article 27 clearly indicates that the state shall not directly or indirectly discriminate against any person on the basis of their health status, these rights are rarely extended to people who use drugs. The unhelpful approach by the state on these matters is fueled by society’s ignorance of drug use and related issues.

It’s against this background that the OSF and the Kenya partners had a 3 days consultative meeting on the policies. Partners present in the meeting were the Kenya Harm Reduction Network (that bring together; Reachout centre Trust, The Omari project, MEWA, Teenswatch and Noset), KELIN, KASH, IMLU, Usalama, MUHURI,.

Outcomes of the meeting:

The Kenya partners emphasize the needs to address key population interest in the Kenya National Aids Strategic Plan 4( KNASP4)

The KNASP4 should include health and rights so as to address issues on health financing

The national and county government should address the health issues with focus on key population.

The law enforcers should be engaged more so that they have facts about drug use and abuse

Law enforcers should apply human rights when they are handling drug users because they are human beings.

Their should be advocacy working group both at the national and county level


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The National AIDS and STIs Control Programme (NASCOP) will soon start a Medically Assisted Therapy (MAT) for People Who Inject Drugs (PWID) in the country.

Methadone will be administered daily as part of comprehensive package in order to address health and social consequences of opioid use. The treatment will begin in Nairobi, Kisumu, Mombasa, Kilifi and Kwale counties and will target around 1500 drug users in the these counties. NASCOP will train and build the capacity of health workers to dispense the treatment. The government will roll out this treatment.

Methadone, as an opiate, is a central nervous system depressant and is not a cure for opiate addiction. It is a pharmacological tool which suppresses withdrawal symptoms, lessens the cravings for opiates and coupled with counseling, facilitates those interpersonal interactions involved in strengthening motivations, changing lifestyles and breaking the cycle of life patterns and stress reactions underlying relapse.

Reachout Centre Trust will play a role in the sensitization of PWIDs and the community within the County about the program. Reachout will conduct assessments of PWIDs before linkage to MAT site. Apart from that, Reachout will also link PWIDs to the MAT site for access of methadone and also conduct follow up of the PWIDs to monitor their progress and adherence to the therapy. Tracking will also be conducted by the staff and they will also manage any cases of overdose at the drug using sites.

Reachout Centre Trust Data Management System:

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Data management is the development and execution of architectures, policies, practices and procedures in order to manage the information lifecycle needs of an organization in an effective manner.

There are various approaches to data management. The effective management of organizational data has grown into an importance for the growth of it. Reachout Centre Trust has been in existence for the past 10 years in the field of Harm Reduction for People who Inject (PWID) and People Who Use Drugs (PWUD) through its outreach programs and using excel and Access sheets for the data entry & monitoring.

Introduction of SyrEx Database:

SyrEx2 is a database management system, developed by “International HIV/AIDS Alliance in Ukraine” with financial support from the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. This program is used for monitoring and recording in HIV prevention programs among the Most at Risk Population (MARPs) in various HIV programs. For many decades Kenyan government has been struggling to get realistic size population of People Who Inject Drugs( PWID)& People who Use Drugs(,PWUD) MSM and SW accessing health services in the country. Introduction of SyrEx database as M&E tool by Alliance Ukraine through our Development partners KANCO harm reduction programme has enabled harm reduction implementing partners to register new clients with unique identifier into SyrEx database with minimal double reporting cases. With support from KANCO M&E department double registration cases in the country were identified and addressed.

Among the key functions of SyrEx2 are the following:

• Clients registration;

• recording commodities and services provided-Syringes, Needles, Condoms,& other medical commodities

• recording trainings and other group events;

• reports generation by different criteria;

• transmission and aggregation of data from multiple sources.

Computer Requirements:

• Operating System: Windows XP SP2, Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 2008, Windows 2008 R2.• 100 MB of Free Hard Disk Space (Minimum).

• 512MB of RAM (Minimum) (more if dealing with a large memory base).

• 2GHz Processor and Higher.

SyrEx is a user-friendly database for tracking:

Number of individual clients reached

Frequency, type and trends of services accessed

Accurate and timely completion of daily registration forms directly at service provision points

Client registration

Keeping track of daily records:

Information on the number of services provided and consumables given out to each client

Compilation of reports

Data transfer (to an upper level) and consolidated analysis

Coverage of prevention programmes, disaggregated by:

sex, age, risk group, geographical area

frequency of service access by clients

type and quantity of services

1. real-time reporting to donors

2. guiding scale-up of services and mobilization of additional resources

3. data use in managing services to meet changing needs of clients

4. detailed analysis of scope and scale of coverage of prevention programmes


On November,18th – 20th 2013 Kenya AIDS NGOs Consortium in collaboration with NASCOP and Aids Allaince conducted  a 3 day workshop in Nakuru, Kenya, bringing together participants from NASCOP, APHIA PLUS, Mombasa and Nairobi County Offices, Ministry of Health, Kenya Red Cross, The Omari project, MEWA, Reachout Centre Trust, Teens Watch Centre, NOSSET, SAPTA, Medicine du Mode and KANCO. The workshop was facilitated by Pavlo Smyrnov and Vasiliy Borshchov from Alliance Ukraine, Onesmus Mlewa and Sylvia Ayon from KANCO.

The aim of the workshop was to build monitoring and evaluation capacity of Kenya governmental and non-government organizations that implement MARP programmes, especially harm reduction targeting people who inject drugs.
Clients with unique identifier into SyrEx database with minimal double reporting cases. With support from KANCO M&E department double registration cases in the country were identified and addressed.

Reachout Centre Trust was represented in this worthy training by Ms.Faizah Hamid, Mr.Lugard Abila and Ms.Saida Hussein. The participants appreciated the fact that the system can proficiently and timely give relevant reports if data is correctly, adequately and consistently filled. Since the team had adequate time interacting with SyrEx database system all representatives from different organizations and government departments agreed to embrace the system, since it’s a comprehensive and user-friendly electronic data management tool, that would help to collect programmatic data, monitor the progress of HIV prevention programmes for most-at-risk population and it would play a key role in policy and decision making plans, improving and developing HIV/AIDS programmes.

A unanimous agreement recommended that all trained individuals would continue to implement the tool recommendations were made: circulate SyrEx manual, harmonize MARP registration tools, come up with standardize unique client number, clean and reconstruct existing data, readjust SyrEx to make it a national comprehensive tool not just for MARP programme and realign other section to meet Kenya data management needs.


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By Taib Abdulrahman

Background and Introduction

The Center for African Family Studies (CAFS) held a one-week course on advocacy skills for sexual reproductive health and HIV AIDS programs. The training was conducted from 26th -30th August 2013 at the Hilton Hotel.
The objective of the course was to build the capacity of participants and the organizations in Advocating skills on reproductive health in HIV and AIDS.
The course was managed, facilitated and sponsored by Regional Aids Training Network, who also covered administrative and instructional costs, text, materials, supplies and certificate awards. RATN also catered for accommodation for 6 days at Hilton Hotel in Nairobi.

The Center for African Family Studies (CAFS) held a one-week course on advocacy skills for sexual reproductive health and HIV AIDS programs. The training was conducted from 26th -30th August 2013 at the Hilton Hotel.
The objective of the course was to build the capacity of participants and the organizations in Advocating skills on reproductive health in HIV and AIDS.
The course was managed, facilitated and sponsored by Regional Aids Training Network, who also covered administrative and instructional costs, text, materials, supplies and certificate awards. RATN also catered for accommodation for 6 days at Hilton Hotel in Nairobi.

Specific Course Objectives

The course was aimed at exploring the different aspects of integrating RH/FP and HIV/AIDS as by the International Conference for Population and Development (ICPD).

The Specific course objectives were:

  1. FP, RH and HIV/AIDS challenges and strategic interventions
  2. Introduction to Advocacy
  3. Components of a comprehensive Advocacy strategy
  4. Identifying problems and issues for Advocacy
  5. Setting Advocacy Goals
  6. Audience Mapping
  7. Advocacy tools and statistics
  8. Building Alliances and networking
  9. Formulating and Delivering messages
  10. Working with the Media
  11. Resource Mobilization
  12. Monitoring and Evaluation
  13. Work on Advocacy Strategy and Action plan.

Participants Profile

A total of 13 participants attended the training; the participants came from local and international.
Among the participants were Tessema Mekalu and Asres Zewdinesh from Ethiopia, Gandari Esther a Lecturer from Zimbabwe Open University(Zimbabwe), Daisy Adalla – Marie Stops Kenya, Susan Ouko – Marie Stops Kenya, Taib Basheeb- Director, Reachout Centre- MSA, Kenya, Tuyisenge Bonaventure- Kigali Health Institute, Rwanda, Cosmus Maina-Teens Watch, Diani-Kenya, Crispus Otieno- NOSET, NRB-Kenya, Mahachi Nyikadzino- Ministry of Health and Child Welfare- Zimbabwe, and Mr. Hussein Katende Mldmay- Uganda.
The seminar was opened by the CAF director, John Batten, who gave an overview of CAFS as an organization and its activities across sub-Saharan countries and Africa as a whole. He thanked the participants for choosing to train with CAFS and affirmed the organizations commitment to building the capacity of organization through high quality training.
Thec ourse was facilitated by Betty Chirchir and Dr. Florence Nyamu, who have vast knowledge in advocacy of SRH/FP and HIV/AIDS.

Methodologies used

  1. Lectures
  2. Plenary discussions
  3. Group work activities
  4. Case studies
  5. Experiences sharing

Course Content

FP, RH and HIV/AIDS challenges and strategic interventions
Participants got the chance to learn Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights (SRH), International Planned Parenthood Federation charter [IPPF] on Sexual and Reproductive Rights. Participants were also taught on how the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) works.
Participants shared their challenges through group work discussions on RH and HIV & AIDS encountered in their field of work.

Introduction to Advocacy

In this session, participants went through the definition of Advocacy, comparing Advocacy with related concept and identifying their roles as advocates. Participants learned about the role of Advocacy, levels to advocate, who can be an advocate, and Advocacy steps involved.

Components of a comprehensive Advocacy strategy

This session required Participant to define various key terms used in integration in their groups before being given their definitions as per World Health Organization. This session gave the participants a systematic walk through integration in advocacy.

Identifying problems and issues for Advocacy

This session main objective was to enable the participants to identify a problem, explain the importance of the research evidence in identifying issues for advocacy, identify specific issues that can be addressed through advocacy and selecting an issue for advocacy.
The topics covered in reaching to this objectives included defining policy, Policy versus Law, policy versus resolutions, functions of policy, forms of policy, policy implementation, problems to policy issues, describing the problem, and what to find out before advocating.
The participants later regrouped in three to identifying problems in SRHR give a list of possible solution and select one problem that needs advocacy.

Setting Advocacy Goals

This session was geared towards capacity building by participants in writing an appropriate advocacy goal and objective, going through characteristics of goals, criteria for analyzing an advocacy goal, elements of an advocacy objective, characteristics of a good advocacy objective and criteria for analyzing advocacy objective.

Audience Mapping

Audience mapping entailed participants learning on how to know audiences for their advocacy issue and objectives, use a mapping technique to profile the selected audiences and to analyze selected audiences to support and opposition for the selected issue.
This involved categorizing audiences, identifying target audiences, the need to clearly define different levels of audiences, identifying supporters, identifying opponents, and audience research.

Advocacy tools and statistics

Participants learnt advocacy tactics; importance of using tactics for advocacy and describing commonly used advocacy tactics

Building Alliances and networking

This session involved defining of network and coalition, describing the types of networks and coalitions, benefits/advantages of working, identifying allies to work with.
It also covered formal and informal networks, building networks, identifying, recruiting, reaching and what to consider when joining one.

Formulating and Delivering messages

The groups were taken through on how to develop an advocacy message, describe different message delivery formats and selecting a format for message delivery, preparing and delivering the message to audience.

Working with the Media
The participants were taught on how to engage the media, how to use it to advocate and how to prepare briefs.

Resource Mobilization

In this session Participants shared experiences with guiding question. Later on, they were taken through concepts in fundraising.

Monitoring and Evaluation

Participants were taught on definition of Monitoring and Evaluation and various types of indicators used in M and E. They also learned on monitoring and evaluating advocacy and how to test their effectiveness.
Work on Advocacy Strategy and Action plan
Participants were shown how to do an action plan; this gave the organization way to monitor the course. Participants were asked to develop action plans. These were presented and discussed by groups.

Training closure

The course ended with facilitators thanking the participants and CAF.

Lesson learned

Participants learnt strengths in Advocacy plan, how to have a joint effort in networking partnership in policy change. Championing for advocacy for SRH within the county government under the health department. They also learnt on how to advance advocacy on sexual reproductive health