Empowering Women Riders for effective Community healthcare Provision-Patient Follow up.

EK. Chemorion
Posted April 27, 2015 from Kenya

Empowering Women Riders for effective Community healthcare Provision-Patient Follow up Edith K. Chemorion-22nd April, 2015.

Felician chebet,Catherine Chena,Stellah Kemboi,Priscillah Keter,Rose Tirop and Rose Obutu.

Motor bike riding in communities around Eldoret in Uasin Gishu County is largely regarded as men’s domain since most of the public services providers involved in bodaboda business are men. Bodaboda business is business for public transport service of picking people from one point to another at a fee. Communities around Uasin Gishu County are patriarchal and motorbike riding is seen as a men only undertaking. Any woman seen cycling or riding is inimitable.

Retention & Psychosocial support Department where I work as deputy manager has over 80 staff, three quarters of whom are women. The female staffs are involved in follow up of clinic defaulters. Defaulters are patients enrolled into care in AMPATH that have missed their clinic appointments. Follow up of these clients has in the past been through use of public transport means-PSV vehicles, motorbikes and at time staff follow- up clients by foot. The use of android phones has also proven instrumental in communicating with clients with an aim of counseling them, supporting and reminding them to come back for their clinic appointments.

After entering into an MOU with Riders for Health, our department got a donation of 20 motorbikes to be used by retention workers for patient follow up. We had the task of identifying major sites for piloting follow up using motorbikes for the first time. We selected twenty staff, from 20 AMPATH sites from across AMPATH covering - Uasin Gishu, Nandi North and Elgeyo Marakwet, Trans Nzoia, Bungoma, Busia, Butula, Kisumu west for the Riders training. I was particularly interested to see that women retention workers were identified for this training. Five women retention workers were on our list for participants of the first training that started on 13th -20th April, 2015. The feminine touch on the training was amazing. Some female Retention workers were so passionate, eager and willing to train so as to change the patriarchal mindset of the colleagues at work and communities they outreached during follow up of defaulters. Ensuring mobility to women retention workers in the hard to reach areas within AMPATH catchment area is great boost to defaulter tracking. We have in the past had success stories of women Retention workers in outreaching defaulters, and re-linking difficult cases back into clinic care. This training will empower the women who will reach many more defaulters and in the process, the workers will understand reasons for defaulting, hence give needed support to clients in their communities, and motivate them to come back for care.

At the end of the one week training at the Moi Teaching and Referral grounds, all the 5 women Retention workers were skilled, competent and successful in the assessment that was done. The women folk now form part of the first ever formidable team of 10 Retention workers licensed to use motorbikes in defaulter tracking in AMPATH. The team is happy that their work will be more effective and representative. This would not have happened without the generous contribution and support of Riders for health.

The Path to Participation Initiative from World Pulse and No Ceilings

Comments 11

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EK. Chemorion
Apr 27, 2015
Apr 27, 2015

Rose, Saiba, Felician and Priscilla, Stella and Catherin in Full Gear and read to reach out into the communities

Alyssa Rust
Apr 28, 2015
Apr 28, 2015

Dear Ek. Chemorion,

Thank you so much for sharing this with the World Pulse Community. I really enjoyed reading your post and thought you had great insight into this topic. I am happy to hear that women where involved and invited for the training and were able to bring their passion and excitement. Thanks again for sharing.

Sincerely,  Alyssa Rust  

libudsuroy
Apr 29, 2015
Apr 29, 2015

Dear Ek. Chemorion, This is an amazing story that I think should be submitted to the #PathThere campaign. using the bikes is an ingenious and empowering way for women health workers to reach more women in otherwise difficult to reach areas. What do you think?

libudsuroy

Fatima Waziri - Azi
May 02, 2015
May 02, 2015

Dear Chemorion - That was a very strong and inspiring story. There should be the absolute eradication of stereotyped roles for men and women. Both sexes should be given the equal opportunity to thrive in whatever profession they find theirselves.

Adanna
May 05, 2015
May 05, 2015

Dear Chemorion,

Your story is very inspiring. Women are the bedrock of any nation and I am happy that some women were trained.

I hope that more and more women will be trained so that more communities can be reached.

x

Adanna

bitani
May 05, 2015
May 05, 2015

Dear Chemorion,

congratulations to you and to these ten women riders! 

I like how much the reality is reflected in your essay, and the importance of mobility of these women for following up with patients. I have always been disturbed that motor bikes are seen as men-only domain, but in your essay I  find breaking of this stereotype, as well as fighting for a very good cause.

much respect,

Bayan

Julia O
May 05, 2015
May 05, 2015

Hi E.K. Chemorion! I read your post with so much interest! I love how it was about both a) the clinic where you work and the ways the staff are so dedicated to ensuring that patients keep getting the treatment they need and b) about women and motor bikes. Riders for health sounds ike an awesome organization! I thin it is so cool that women from your office are now retention workers on bikes helping others! Thank you so much for sharing this story. It was truly both inspiring and heartwarming. All my best wishes, Julia

Tamarack Verrall
May 06, 2015
May 06, 2015

Hello E.K.Chemorion,

I, too, find this information so inspiring and such a sign of great success, both in breaking down the barracade of men only activity, and women moving more and more into public space. That this doubles in more effective health care, deepens the celebration. The landscape is now changed, with these 5 women going everywhere they need to be. Your good news will no doubt be contageous and spread to areas where it needs to go!

Congratulations,

Tam

Mauwa Brigitte
May 07, 2015
May 07, 2015

Bonjour I.CHEMORION,

Merci pour un travail délicieux que vous faite en intervenant les femmes à participer pour une telle formation de motocycliste que vous n’y attendez pas atteindre l’objectif, les femmes pourraient s’en sortir mais la volonté et courage était ensemble avec ces cinq femmes qui ont fait la différence. Vraiment c’est à félicité, que ces femmes  continuent à faire la sensibilisation pour le développement de votre communauté et être rapide pour les soins communauté. Elles doivent travailler fortement pour revenir aux besoins communautaires.

Edith Kalanzi
May 07, 2015
May 07, 2015

Through you, Edith, convey our gratitude to such people/organisations which stand up to encourage women participation in areas normally reserved for men. The follow-up of patients who decide not to come back to clinics is particularly impressive; it's a great way to help the discouraged. However, how protected are these women during their first adventures among the male-dominated biker community? Do they get some kind of training in basic self-defense moves, appropriate behaviour in the face of critics, etc.?

All the best EK!

best, Edith

annadassa
May 07, 2015
May 07, 2015

 EK. Chemorion,

You have won the contest, the contest of breaking through the barrier of man only. Woman are strong and because of that i aplaud you and your organization for not only use the bikes but making sure that the once who drives them are woman!

Thanks for sharing such an amazing story,

Annadassa