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MmeLindor is in Kenya blogging about Reproductive Rights

(151 Posts)
LynnCSchreiber Fri 22-Jun-12 08:40:29

I am in Kenya this week blogging about reproductive rights.

200m women worldwide want to use contraception but have no access to it.

Melinda Gates has launched a campaign to change this. A group of bloggers from around the world are visiting various projects in Kenya to report on the reality of life without contraception.

Access to contraception means that women can decide when, how many and in with which age gap they have their children.

This has far reaching effects on the lives and the lives of their families.

more here

250 000 maternal deaths worldwide, high infant mortality, unwanted babies, unsafe abortion.

I have been here for several days and have written a couple of blog posts about the projects we have visited. I've been having wifi issues so no pics yet, but I have tweeted some pics - you can follow me @lynncschreiber to see them.

I've met an amazing woman who is a Mother Mentor in a HIV/AIDS support project. She meets newly diagnosed mothers and helps them come to terms with their illness and learn how to increase the chances that their babies will be HIV negative.

She was so inspiring. She told me that she is living positively and is so happy that her son is a Negative Baby. She now tells other women about family planning and how to access it. The program is run by the CDC - who are doing amazing things for rural communities.

Women walk for hours to health clinics only to find that they are out of contraceptive supplies.

The Gates Foundation is teaming up with the UK government to host a worldwide family planning summit in London this July.

I will also be linking to the blogs of the others on the trip.

LynnCSchreiber Mon 25-Jun-12 09:58:23

Charlott wrote about the Global Gag Rule in German

Sanchita wrote about meeting Sarah Obama

Irin on Mitt Romney -- do read some of Irin's articles. She is an amazing woman.

Lola writes for El Pais about maternity hospital in spanish

More here - do click through to the websites of the bloggers

LynnCSchreiber Mon 25-Jun-12 10:03:13

Well done smile

Macdog Mon 25-Jun-12 14:52:49

Humbling to read of the difference sanpro and underwear makes to these women.
Keep up the good work Mme

LynnCSchreiber Mon 25-Jun-12 15:20:56

Some info on a mooncup trial in Kenya (PDF)

Will follow up on it, but basically, the rise in children attending school did not rise dramatically, and there were some hygiene issues. Generally though, the girls were positive towards the mooncup, as they found it easier to hid their menstruation from others in the class.

Great campaign!

I am a little envy of you MmeLindor - and in awa [schoolgirl blush]

Many, many moons ago, I was part of a public heath campaign in Uganda, promoting Safer Sex, HIV/AIDS awareness and basic hygiene for birth attendants. It was the single most eye opening period of my life. I came away v humbled and actually feeling more dubious about external attempts to influence change IYKWIM (too much money changing hands from poor to rich - on individual level and across countries), but at the same time feeling very keenly how desperate the need for change was/is.

As I have in the meantime become so totally caught up in my own life, I am always heartened to hear of people who find the time/strength/brain power to keep Doing Something.

Here endeth my bump

And I cannot spell 'awe'...

LynnCSchreiber Mon 25-Jun-12 16:48:39

Thanks, PD.

It is something that I have massively struggled with on this trip. There are THOUSANDS of NGOs in Kenya (I heard it said that there were 6000 in Kibera slum alone, but presume that is as much exaggerated as the estimated 1m people who live there).

It is the reason why I am keen to look into the san pro issue, but wish to get involved with a group that is already here.

Someone said yesterday that there is more to Africa than bloated bellied babies with flies on their eyes.. there is a lot of truth in that. There are incredible entrepreneurs, IT start ups, and some great businesses in Nairobi.

Corruption is a massive issue, although it is improving. We had a meeting today with the manager of the www.allafrica.com who was telling us that it is better than it was, as hard as that is for us to believe. (good website if you want to be informed of any issues here btw)

LynnCSchreiber Mon 25-Jun-12 16:58:18
Fenouille Mon 25-Jun-12 19:19:52

Very inspiring links. FWIW, I think teaming up with an existing NGO is a great idea - I really get the impression that there are so many people trying to do good in Africa that finally nothing really gets done properly.

AbigailAdams Mon 25-Jun-12 22:38:38

Amazing campaign MmeLindor. I'll try and read all the links tomorrow. Good luck.

LynnCSchreiber Mon 25-Jun-12 22:45:31

Thanks all.

Gates Foundation blog featured one of my posts and many other articles on this topic. It is well worth a look

LynnCSchreiber Mon 25-Jun-12 22:46:52

Whoops. Wrong link (but that one is excellent too!)

mine

LynnCSchreiber Mon 25-Jun-12 22:49:13
LynnCSchreiber Mon 25-Jun-12 22:49:37

Oh. And this.

Will make you laugh

LynnCSchreiber Tue 26-Jun-12 07:15:58

London Family Planning Summit

I've been invited to live blog the summit so if you have questions, post them here.

Hullygully Tue 26-Jun-12 09:19:57

Oh well done MMe! <claps and cheers>

LynnCSchreiber Tue 26-Jun-12 09:39:53

Going to a newly opened maternity clinic that also has mobile maternity vans later today.

Hullygully Tue 26-Jun-12 09:44:49

I like Mama Christina

Hullygully Tue 26-Jun-12 09:47:02

Your post fab too. And great pics.

How is the heat/tiredness/mosquitoes?

LynnCSchreiber Tue 26-Jun-12 10:46:47

Been cool actually, Hully. We slept in tents in laikipia and it was quite a challenge to get out of bed in the morning.

Mosquitos fine but I did get bitten by fire ants. Ow. Ow.

LynnCSchreiber Tue 26-Jun-12 10:47:12
silverfrog Tue 26-Jun-12 12:00:54

MmeL - well done, and how inspiring.

I nearly had dd1 at Nairobi Maternity Hospital (in the end had to go to the Aga Khan, as much closer to where we were living, and security risk of travelling through the city at unknown hour etc).

On the corruption front, please do spread the word about ATI. set up to combat this very issue, pan-Africa, it might have some ideas to help with movement of goods and distribution etc.

LynnCSchreiber Tue 26-Jun-12 13:49:36

Silverfrog
We passed the Aga Khan earlier.

We were out at a new maternity hospital. It is funded by donations but aim is to be a for-profit clinic. We were pretty impressed by it - it was based on western style birthing centres, midlife-led, patient-centred.

It was very impressive. Would love to come back in 6mths and see what it is like then.

LynnCSchreiber Tue 26-Jun-12 13:50:58

Silver -
Forgot to ask. Did you hear anything about women being kept captive in hospital if they can't pay their bills? Heard some horror stories in the past week.

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