Healthcare Provider Course

Background

Access to health is a fundamental human right as outlined in Article 43 (1) of the Constitution of Kenya 2010 which states that: Every person has the right-to the highest attainable standard of health, which includes the right to health care services, including reproductive health care; Despite this provision in the law, women and girls with disabilities in Kenya, still face numerous challenges in access to sexual and reproductive health. The myths and misconceptions attached to their sexuality often hinders them from acquiring quality sexual and reproductive health services, they are denied the right to express their sexuality through forced and arranged marriages, forced sterilization, forced and unsafe abortion as well as denial of sexual and reproductive health information and education which creates a gap in their health and increases the susceptibility of untreated sexual and reproductive health illnesses.

Problem Statement

Women and girls with disabilities, are turned away from sexual and reproductive health and rights, their sexuality is often overlooked and they are viewed as “sick people “who need to heal first before expressing their sexuality may be considered a low priority, or may not be provided with accessible education and information material. Negative attitudes from health providers also hinder women with disabilities from accessing right information on sexual and reproductive health.

Inaccessibility in health facilities remains a challenge from lack of ramps, lack of support for alternative modes of communication, such as sign language, Braille, and simplified easy-to-read and adapted tools. In the context of sexual and reproductive health and rights, women with disabilities may experience attitudinal barriers relating to the expectation that they are not sexually active and therefore not in need of such services.

Any person with a disability may be sexually active and in need of services; women and girls with disabilities may need such services even more, as they have less decision-making power and autonomy to negotiate safer sex. The combination of discrimination based on disability, gender, sexual orientation may compromise access to services.

Our Approach

  1. A needs assessment is conducted to understand the views, experiences and challenges of healthcare providers handling the SRHR on women with disabilities work places. After the needs analysis, the survey response is presented to the healthcare providers. 
  2. During the induction session an orientation schedule is drawn out to guide each participant and effectively train them on how to navigate the platform, access content and download and complete tasks and assignments.
  3. The healthcare providers then undertake the course which consists of various topics including: Disability Rights, Sexual and Gender Based Violence among Women with disabilities, Contraception/Family planning, Comprehensive Abortion, Maternal and Child Birth, HIV and STIs and the Impact of Covid-19 on the SRHR of women with disabilities.

As a result of our processes over 100 healthcare providers from Kisumu, Kakamega, Busia, Tana River, Kwale, Kilifi, Mombasa, Kiambu and Nairobi have completed their #SRHRplusD training for healthcare providers program successfully. 

Desired Outcomes

  1. Healthcare providers unlearn negative attitudes and stigma attached to the sexuality of women with disabilities, and treat women with disabilities with dignity and ensure SRH information and services are available, accessible and affordable to them. 
  2. Public and private health facilities management and personnel ensure accessible environment to women with disabilities seeking SRHR services 
  3. An established network of trained disability rights champions.

Long term Goal

To increase access to quality sexual and reproductive health services and information to women and girls with disabilities in Kenya.

Short term Goal

To support various stakeholders to gain knowledge on disability rights and inclusion through our SKILLS elearning platform.

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