Activity Report Kenya 2009
Kenya belongs to the countries with a low income and nutrition de cit. Its GDP is 1.242 USD/person (the World Bank 2007). In UNDP’s Index of human development, Kenya was listed as a country with average human development and placed 148 out of the 177 countries rated in 2007.
Kenya is especially vulnerable due to repeated natural disasters (droughts, floods etc), and suffers from the pollution of water resources and continual deforestation. It also has a relatively high, though deceasing, problem of HIV and AIDS, which was achieving (?) 4,6% in 2006 (this number shows average value for the country as a whole). The number of infected people were 1.3–1.5 million in 2001, while in 2007 it increased to 1.5–2 million (within deceasing extent of occurrence, but also due to a significant population growth), i.e. almost 5% of the population, of which 130–180 thousand are represented by infected children under the age of 14 and 800 thousand – 1.1 million women of reproductive age older than 15. The percentage of women in the infected adult population over 15 years of age is 60%. The occurrence of HIV/AIDS in the adult population (15–49 years) is 8–10%. The southeast province Nyanza, where Magna operates, has the highest occurrence just after Nairobi, where women make up two thirds of the infected. In Kombewa district, where we cooperate with a partner regional hospital, HIV/AIDS occurs to the extent of 7,8%. A comparatively high extent of the virus prevalence is related to the fact that Nyanza has been strongly marginalized both politically and economically. Approximately 1.2 million newborn babies and about 9% of pregnant women were infected by HIV/AIDS. Estimations say that more than 100 thousand newborn children had been exposed to HIV (so called HIV exposed children), and with the assumed extent of HIV transfer from mother to child (40%), it is probable that at least 40 thousand newborns were born HIV positive children. Statistics also show that 47% of HIV positive women who had given birth in recent years were tested for HIV during antenatal care. Such numbers point to the importance and significance of providing programs that prevent the transmission of HIV from mother to child that are able to detect HIV-positive pregnant women even before the childbirth, so that necessary PMTCT and antiretroviral treatment can be started before a baby is born.
The situation is complicated by the fact that the majority of the population (83%) in Kenya is not aware of their HIV status. High prices of food are significant in the everyday life of the Kenyans. An estimated 5.6 million people face uncertainty about everyday food supplies due to the rise in prices of food and fuel. To overcome the price increase every day, people must decrease daily food intake or buy cheap, available food. There are many critical cases of malnutrition. As far as 25% of children suffer from acute malnutrition in some Kenyan districts.
Approximately 31% of children under the age of 5 shows insufficient growth development and about 20% suffer from malnutrition. The level of stunted growth development and underweight children is about 10% higher in the countryside than in urban areas. Furthermore, 3 in 4 children in the above mentioned age are anemic, along with 50% of women and one in 5 men. Almost half of Kenya’s children under the age of 5 and women in the reproductive age also face lack of zinc. The lack of vitamin A is prominent among children and women in general, along with specific subgroups of men. Significant problems in terms of public health are caused by a wide lack of many microelements and also by the lack of vitamin A, zinc and iron. Estimations say that the deaths of more than 23 thousand children are connected with increased predisposition to infections which is caused by the lack of vitamin A and that about 70% of children in Kenya grow up with reduced immunity. In general we can say that the nutrition situation in Kenya is still desperate.
The operational base of MAGNA in Kenya is in the regional hospital Kombewa along with the medical centre Nyahera in Nyanza province. MAGNA mediates technical support in these medical facilities as well as compete medical and social care of mother and child. The main focus of Magna in Kenya is the prevention of HIV transfer from mother to child (PMTCT), pediatric treatment of HIV/AIDS and of malnutrition. In 2009 MAGNA assisted 3126 prenatal examinations, while 1082 women also underwent consultation testing, prevention of HIV transfer and protection against HIV. Each month we provided care to an average of 45 HIV positive women within the PMTCT program, a total of 1,048 women were tested for HIV during prenatal examinations and shortly before childbirth in 2009. Altogether 1,127 women entered the program from its beginning in 2007, and 518 children were born. The project mediates and secures prenatal, natal and postnatal care to such women aiming to prevent HIV transfer from mother to child. MAGNA subsequently treats newborns in a HIV exposed program (i.e. program for children born to HIV positive mothers). MAGNA provided medical, social and nutrition treatment to 596 children within the program in 2009.
MAGNA also organized medical assistance to 5,667 HIV positive people; 365 of them children. According to a nutrition report for 2009, MAGNA distributed 686 kits of nutrition called Advantage Food for HIV positive pregnant and breastfeeding women, 1,221 kits of First Food for exposed children and 2,356 kits of nutrition called Foundation Plus Food for HIV positive patients. Nutritionists carried out 4,155 individual and 71 groups consultations to HIV positive patients, registered in the nutrition program, in the Magna Nutrition Center. MAGNA provide care for patients at home, through a Home Base Care program, in which our fieldworkers who made 6,960 visits in 2009 regularly visit the patients – they visited 1,587 mothers and children who had been observed within the home care system. MAGNA fieldworkers carried out 43,251 visits to patients’ families as part of the Home Base Care program in 2007.
MAGNA has been operating in Kenya since 2007.