In a rural community in Eastern Kenya, along the rough terrain of Mt. Kenya, a cadre of Christian community health workers (CHWs) is providing family planning for the first time. These CHWs are affiliated with the church-based hospitals in that region which are part of the Christian Health Association of Kenya. With support from the World Bank, these CHWs have been able to add provision of family planning information and methods (pills, condoms, CycleBeads®, Lactational Amenorrhea Method) to their package of services.
A Community Health Worker (CHW) gives instructions on how to use oral contraceptives.
While many believe that religious teachings act as barriers to accessing family planning, the issues on the ground are much more often related to lack of resources or training capacity and the ever-present concern of commodity stockouts. These church-based hospitals leading the effort to bring family planning to the community level fully recognize the integral role that family planning plays in improving maternal and child health as well as relieving the economic burden many families experience when they are unable to plan their families.