24 March 2022

A PARTNERSHIP BETWEEN BORN FREE KENYA AND THE MINISTRY OF HEALTH

New holistic approach to sustainable development that reflects the connections between people, their health and the environment.

The Country Director of Born Free Kenya, Mr Tim Oloo and the Meru County Executive Committee Member for Health, Dr Misheck Mutuma, signed a Memorandum of understanding (MoU) in Meru County, on 24 March 2022. Joseph Inanga the Chief Officer Public Health, Phoebe Odhiang Born Free’s Education Manager and Charles Njoroge Born Free’s Community Officer, were also in attendance. 

The MoU will support the Population Health and Environment (PHE) project collaboration, between Born Free and Meru County - Department of Health Services. PHE is a holistic approach to sustainable development that reflects the connections between people, their health and the environment. PHE recognizes the relationships between people's health and the environment and seeks to improve family planning and reproductive health services as well as conservation and natural resource management through an integrated, community-based, multi-sectoral approach.

A healthy population or community leads to a healthy environment. People are more willing and able to adopt conservation practices if their basic needs, like health care, are met. Born Free recognises that conservation requires community inclusion both directly and indirectly.

The PHE project will: 

  • Ensure the community understands that Born Free cares for people as well as wildlife
  • Create a platform for Born Free to create conservation awareness, both during mobile outreach clinics and through working and empowering the Community Health Volunteers (CHVs) who will work closely with Born Free. 

For the Ministry of Health, this approach increases access to remote, underserved communities where women have expressed a need for family planning and basic health services that governments cannot meet.

Born Free representatives stand with government officers at the document signing

Three men sitting around a table signing documents

By creating a partnership between health services and environmental and conservation organizations, which have on-going projects and established relationships with these communities, integrated programmes can reach these underserved populations in a more effective manner. 

The activities will include, among others:

  • Six joint annual mobile outreach clinics to provide basic and preventive health care services to communities along the western boundary of Meru National Park, including conservation awareness by Born Free
  • Continuous health especially reproductive health outreach on a door-to-door basis by CHVs
  • Capacity building of CHVs by supporting their training needs. 

The areas of focus will be:

  • Family planning and reproductive health
  • Basic health services
  • Water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH)
  • School health education and outreach 
  • Sustainable livelihoods
  • Community engagement and environmental education, including awareness on zoonotic diseases and risks of consuming bush meat 
  • Building the capacity of communities on health issues through outreach using community health volunteers (CHV)

The Ministry of Health will provide technical expertise and Born Free will provide the financial and logistical support through donors, to reach communities in Meru County. We are looking forward to a great partnership, and enabling a happier, healthier, and informed community. 

 

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