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Project beneficiaries pose with PITARP staff and Ministry of Health officers after a training session at Nabongo Cultural Centre, Shiembekho, Matungu

PITARP resource centre developed with CFLI funds

PITARP's Resource Centre developed with funding from CLFI

community health & well-being

PITARP works in alignment with the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal 3 which aims at ensuring healthy lives and promote well-being for all, at all ages. We aim to prevent needless suffering from preventable diseases and premature deaths by focusing on key targets that boost the health of the community in general.

To achieve our integrated health goals, we utilize our years of experience and lessons learned to increase access to and demand for quality HIV/TB services to address integrated HIV prevention and treatment. This is done through co-creation, transition, and ownership with County - and Sub-County Government agencies and Civil Society Organization (CSO), actors. We aim to deliver high-impact, gender-sensitive, evidence-based services.

We implement most of our health activities in Kakamega County, which, in terms of people living with HIV (PLHIV), is the second most populous county in Kenya with 44,297 PLHIV. Mother-to-child transmission of HIV (MTCT) in the county stand at 13.2%, with only  2,176 of the 3,294 pregnant women living with HIV accessing prevention of MTCT (PMTCT) services. Working men, including touts, cane cutters, boda boda drivers, and gold miners, and key populations (KP) comprising Men who have Sex with Men (MSM), Female Sex Workers (FSW), Transgender People (TG), and People Who Inject Drugs (PWID) represent both those at greatest risk and populations with high unmet needs for HIV services.

key health project sectors

Reproductive Maternal Neonatal Child And Adolescent Health (RMNCAH) - Reproductive Health, Maternal Health and Family Planning

At PITARP, we champion breast feeding; exclusive breastfeeding is a critical component in achieving SDG 2 and SDG3 - which include ending hunger, improving nutrition and promoting health and wellbeing.  And increasingly, it is clear that breastfeeding is not only the cornerstone of a child’s healthy development; it is also subsequently, the foundation of a Community’s development.  Breastfeeding is one of the strategies that ensure the wellbeing of the children and it contributes towards ending preventable child deaths, improving maternal and child health, boosting educational attainment, and increasing productivity.

We also recognize that reproductive health services including family planning are essential in enhancing the well-being of women and their families. Ensuring access to voluntary family planning provides women with options to prevent unintended pregnancies while reducing the risk of maternal and child mortality, and it improves the health and economic well-being of families and communities. Research demonstrates that family planning is an essential component of achieving development goals for health, poverty reduction, gender equality, and environmental sustainability, including Kenya’s Vision 2030, a national framework for development. FP intervention projects contribute to increased knowledge and access to FP, and changes in attitude towards FP. We have also stepped up our interventions against cervical cancer with an aim to curbing the number of deaths from cervical cancer through promoting early diagnosis, treatment of precancerous lesions through referrals and where possible linkage to advanced treatment as is needed.

Many women in Western Kenya face gaps in access to high-quality ANC services: They often do not receive the recommended services for a healthy pregnancy, experience poor quality of care, and are treated disrespectfully. Young and adolescent women, particularly first-time mothers, tend to complete fewer ANC visits and seek care later in pregnancy than adult mothers. Shortage of medicine and supplies, insufficient skilled health providers, and heavy staff workloads reduce the quality of care available and may create compassion fatigue in providers, translating to disrespectful treatment of pregnant women.

Adolescent & Youth Health - Adolescence and Youth Sexual and Reproductive Health and Policy Rights (AYSRHR)

For the youths in Western Kenya, the onset of adolescence brings not only changes to their bodies but also new vulnerabilities to human rights abuses. Many girls are forced into unwanted sex, early marriage, female genital mutilation, and cultural practices which puts them at risk of unwanted pregnancies, unsafe abortions, sexually transmitted infections (STIs) including HIV, and dangerous childbirth. In Western Kenya, majority of new HIV infections are among young people. Similarly, about one fifth of girls below 19 years have begun childbirth. We aim to provide evidence to guide understanding of sexual and reproductive health issues for adolescents and young people, including unintended pregnancy drivers and HIV vulnerabilities. We also strive, where possible, to scale up evidence-based SRHR approaches to improve outcomes.  


Sexual and Gender-Based Violence (SGBV)

In Western Kenya, it is estimated that up to 30% of girls and 18% of boys experience sexual violence by the age of 18 years. Sexual Violence is associated with adverse sexual and reproductive (SRH) health, increased mental health problems and alcohol and substance abuse disorders. SGBV research and interventions by PITARP aim to provide evidence on individual and community factors associated with SGBV and theoretical models underlying health seeking for SGBV services and provide evidence to scale-up quality SBGV prevention and response interventions. PITARP supports comprehensive SGBV sensitization initiatives at community level and school-based interventions aiming at building knowledge and empowering young boys and girls on their rights to protect them from sexual violence.


HIV & AIDS Prevention, Treatment and Care

PITARP implements HIV prevention programmes to halt the transmission of HIV with a focus on complementary combination of behavioural, biomedical and structural strategies. Despite the progress made by prevention programmes, the decline in new HIV infections among adults has slowed in the past decade, which indicates the need for increased funding and scale up of services. For maximum impact, PITARP implements HIV programs targeting populations considered “high risk”. These populations include; the key populations (LGBTQI, the Female Sex Workers (FSWs), and the Men who have Sex with Men- MSMs) as well as the priority populations such as the fisherfolks who are provided services at high prevalence regions or 'hot spots'.

PITARP recognizes that key populations are a high priority population to achieve the UNAIDS 95-95-95 targets. We, to this end, prioritize improved uptake of PrEP, HIV Self-Testing (HIVST), HIV Testing Services (HTS), case finding, linkage and retention to treatment. During our 3 years of implementation we have Increased Access and Demand to Targeted HIV Prevention Services among KP, AGYW, and Men(MSM and fishing communities); Outcomes: More than 90% of KPs and non-KPs reached with a minimum package of services, including HIV testing; 95% of all HIV-positive KP identified, 95% linked to treatment, and 95% virally suppressed; more than 90% of uncircumcised men in traditionally non-circumcising communities circumcised; more than 90% of high-risk individuals initiated on PrEP.

To achieve “epidemic control” we ensure that Key Populations are never lost across the HIV cascade of prevention, care and treatment services; To increase case finding, we implement proven approaches aimed at identifying KPs at elevated risk of contracting HIV, previously underserved segments of the population and partners of KPs known to be living with HIV. The approaches used include Expanded Peer Outreach Approach (EPOA), Voluntary Partners Referral (VPR), index partner testing, risk network referrals and data driven risk segmentation. PITARP has supported increased Linkage of Identified HIV Positive Individuals to Treatment Services. In the process, more than 95% of individuals who test positive for HIV are initiated on ART within two weeks of being identified; more than 95% of individuals who know their status are on ART; and, 95% of HIV-positive clients are retained within the system. 

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Officers from the police force follow the proceedings during a training session at Quills Hotel, Lung'anyiro in Matungu Sub-County

Our Impact

1.     Advocacy to champion rights of community members

Legal literacy: A working strategy for pursuing justice

We equip the community to understand their rights. We have trained outreach workers and paralegal officers on basic human rights as is enshrined in the Constitution of Kenya. This has enhanced an understanding of their roles at the hotspots in containing frequent harassment.  

How we have created impact in the areas where we work

1. Paralegals work with communities to solve problems at the grassroots. Together, they protect the community by securing KPs’ basic rights to healthcare and citizenship. These remedies improve the lives of KPs and other community members.

2. The individuals who work closely with the paralegals learn about their rights and how to realize them using the law. They often go on to support others in their communities, creating ripples of empowerment.

3. We draw on grassroots experience to advocate for changes that make the system better for everyone. Paralegals rigorously collect data on every case they handle. We assess that information to identify where systems are failing and how they can be improved. Together with the communities with which we work, we use that information to advocate for reforms to laws and policies. These changes can positively affect entire region.

4. We learn from each other to get better. We foster learning among network members, online and in-person. By sharing evidence, challenges, and lessons from practice, our community becomes more effective.

5. We strive to transform the policy environment for legal empowerment. Together with network members, we advocate for policies that will create the space and structures for our members to work effectively and independently.

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Community members participate in a march organised by PITARP during a past commemoration of the World AIDS Day

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Contact Us

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