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Health security for persons living and working on the streets of Nairobi

  • Amount funded: £60,000
  • Year: 2022
  • Duration: 24 months
  • Locations: Kenya
  • Grant stream: Open grants call
Issue

Persons living and working on the streets in Kenya face challenges accessing the healthcare system despite provision set out in the Kenya Health Policy 2014-2030 which is underpinned by a constitutional right to healthcare.

Project partners
Undugu Society of Kenya (USK)
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How we are helping

This project will increase the influence of local communities in county healthcare planning and financing to achieve a more inclusive, responsive and effective healthcare service for persons living and working on the streets in Nairobi.

About the project

The constitutional right to healthcare is provided for in the Kenya Health Policy 2014-2030. However, persons living and working on the streets (PLAWS) of Nairobi face inequities that hinder access to healthcare services. Low awareness of their own health and medical status, coupled with an absence of relevant healthcare information, result in poor exposure to—and uptake of— medical interventions. PLAWS face challenges accessing Covid-19 vaccines as most do not have a national identity card which is a requirement of recent government vaccination programmes.

Project partner Undugu Society of Kenya will advocate for policy and legal reforms to increase healthcare opportunities for PLAWS and strengthen local community voices in healthcare planning and financing.

The constitutional right to healthcare is provided for in the Kenya Health Policy 2014-2030. However, persons living and working on the streets (PLAWS) of Nairobi face inequities that hinder access to healthcare services. Low awareness of their own health and medical status, coupled with an absence of relevant healthcare information, result in poor exposure to—and uptake of— medical interventions. PLAWS face challenges accessing Covid-19 vaccines as most do not have a national identity card which is a requirement of recent government vaccination programmes.

Project partner Undugu Society of Kenya will advocate for policy and legal reforms to increase healthcare opportunities for PLAWS and strengthen local community voices in healthcare planning and financing.

This will be achieved through:

  • Mobilising and strengthening 50 local healthcare champions for improved health services for PLAWS, specifically:
    • Carrying out county research on healthcare exclusion
    • Carrying out outreach healthcare base conversations with policy makers
    • Training for healthcare institutional based champions on human rights-based healthcare service provision.
    • Undertaking targeted community medical visits in partnership with medical bodies to understand prevalent diseases and design inclusion pathways.
    • Hosting healthcare performance reward scheme
  • Strengthening the advocacy capacity of 100 champions on the healthcare needs of PLAWS, specifically:
    • Establishing a Right to Healthcare Movement constituted of trained paralegals, community health workers and human rights defenders to propagate rights of PLAWS, through healthcare knowledge transfer and strategies to change attitude
    • Hosting health sector human rights driven healthcare conferences
    • Undertaking healthcare service monitoring to identify best practices and hold health related conversations in favor of PLAWS
  • Developing animated information, education and communication materials which offer insights on the challenges faced by PLAWS in accessing healthcare, to share through platforms accessible by PLAWS and to serve as an advocacy toolkit to influence policies and practice.

As a result of this project, it is anticipated that there will be increased local community voices in healthcare planning, programming and financing resulting in an integrated healthcare framework at county level, articulating the mainstreaming of PLAWS rights into healthcare provision.

Project Partners
Undugu Society of Kenya (USK)

The Undugu Society of Kenya (USK) was established in 1973 to address the increasing numbers of children living and working on the streets of Nairobi. USK implements development interventions focusing on rescue, rehabilitation and reintegration of children and youth living or working in the streets, their families, as well as socio-economic empowerment of poor urban and rural communities in Kenya. Currently, USK operates in four major informal settlements (Mathare, Ngomongo, Pumwani and Kibera) and also runs a children’s centre that provides shelter and care for vulnerable children before they are reintegrated with their families.

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