Community Health Access Program (CHAP)

Community Health Access Program (CHAP) was granted $528,466 over a period of 3 years to help reduce breast and cervical cancer and to provide support to pediatric TB activities in various Kenyan counties.

Need

Isiolo and Tharaka Nithi are two of 47 counties in Kenya that transverse the arid and semi-arid regions of Eastern Kenya with an estimated population of 143, 294 and 365,330 respectively (Census 2009). The inhabitants belong to Borana, Meru, Turkana, Samburu, Pokot, Tharaka and Somali ethnic groups that are predominantly pastoralists. They live in remote and difficult environments with limited access to health services. Accessibility is hampered by poor infrastructure, insecurity (cattle rustling and competition for water and pasture), fights among the inhabitants with neighboring counties, and the counties’ geographical proximity to Somalia and Ethiopia. Marginalization of the communities has resulted in high poverty levels coupled with limited access to health care services.

In Isiolo, 39.7% of women between the ages of 15-49 have had no formal education compared to men in the same age group reported at 11.4%. Early marriages and female genital mutilation are widely practiced. Isiolo County has 1 referral hospital and 27 health facilities with a doctor population ratio of 1:143,000 compared to the national average of 1:10,000. Kenya is experiencing an increase in non-communicable diseases (NCD and cancer accounts for 7% of the overall national mortality and is considered the second leading cause of NCD related deaths in Kenya (WHO–NCD 2014). Among Kenyan women, breast, cervical and esophageal cancers are most common. Data indicates that breast cancer occurs in 34 women per 100,000 population while cervical cancer is reported at 25 cases per 100,000. Up to 40% of global cancers are preventable through interventions that modify associated risk factors. Currently there are no cervical cancer interventions that address screening and treatment in Tharaka Nithi. Community based cervical cancer interventions have not been established in the proposed project area.

Project

The objective of this project is to reduce morbidity and mortality of cervical cancer in Tharaka Nithi County by providing prevention, screening, and treatment interventions. CHAP will also provide support to pediatric TB activities in Isiolo County by building the capacity of health care workers, providing timely and responsive services on prevention, and providing screening and treatment for breast and cervical cancers in two Kenyan counties.

An important component of this project is that both Chuka and Isiolo hospitals will absorb and continue to provide cervical cancer and pediatric TB services respectively when the grant comes to an end.

Partners

  • Ministries of Health and Education.
  • County Health Management teams.
  • Chuka and Isiolo District Hospitals; and
  • National Council of Cancer and National TB Program.