He4Her – She4Him (Part 2): the outcome

HOW DOES MEN’S HEALTH CONNECT TO WOMEN’S HEALTH. Outcome of our pilot training sessions.

Together with the local CBO Wa-Wa we run a pilot on men‘s and women‘s health

As report in part 1 we have launched a pilot training program in Homabay, Kenya on women’s and Men’s health. A good men’s health and women’s health are possible only if both genders health is equally considered and men care about women as women care about men.

The training sought to achieve the following objectives:

• Enhance the capacity of community members on new and emerging issues of mental health

• Enhance the understanding of the mental health,challenges in addressing the same & available mechanisms for treatment

• Experience sharing amongst volunteers on systemic Negative masculinity with the Gender Norms

• Discuss the role of the community members play in advocating for eradicating Drug use and responsible alcoholism.

The training engaged diverse participants including; youth representatives from the local, religious leaders, CBOs; and special interest groups. They were engaged in conversations and empowered by the facilitators to play active roles in efforts towards the realization of effective engagement with the community. This allowed them to share their ideas and opinions with facilitators from Making more Health which got equal attention regardless of age, gender, socio-economic status and educational level.

After the pilot program the participants agreed that the following issues need to follow up and action soonest possible:

• More community outreach should be conducted to sensitize the community with a focus to men on negative masculinity

• There is a need to run a continual men’s health programme for at least one year to change the behaviour

• Trained facilitators should conduct regularly community awareness programs.

• The local facilitators should get more similar training to buildour capacity.

One of the biggest learning is also the fact that isolated training sessions will not be sufficient to tackle these challenges. Therefore, creating more networks with other CBOs and NGOs is needed to ensure that the call for change is becoming much louder so that minimizing mental health rights can be realized by everyone irrespective of their social, economic or political status.

We will work on that and develop in the next months a more detailed training program together with our local partners in Western Kenya.

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For those who might be interested to get more background information we recommend the following articles:

Changing men or changing health systems? A scoping review of interventions, services and programmes targeting men’s health in sub-Saharan Africa | International Journal for Equity in Health | Full Text (biomedcentral.com)

Equally, women’s health’ issues are also challenging:

Women in East Africa countries have poor access to maternal health care. Residence, maternal education, husband education, income, and planned pregnancy are the predictors of access to health care. Therefore, there should be a common strategy to enhance the accessibility of health service utilization among women in the region and financial support for the poor that enables women to use health services. For better health care access, increasing the awareness of women and their partners about the significance of utilization of healthcare service focusing on uneducated persons are crucial activities. The spread of HIV, AIDS prevention and care, access to sexual and reproductive health, Nutritional deficiencies, Provision of effective and assessable maternity services are some of the most urgent topics to be addressed. More details can be found here:

Determinants of Access to Health Care Among Women in East African Countries: A Multilevel Analysis of Recent Demographic and Health Surveys from 2008 to 2017 (nih.gov)

 

More interesting links:

Men4Women – Sudan – South Sudan’s Men Try to Break Menstruation Cultural Taboos | Voice of America – English (voanews.com)

Men don’t want  to hear about menstruation – From Prison To Periods: Meet The Men Fighting Menstruation Taboos In Kenya (elle.com)

Masculine norms and mental health of African men: what can psychology do? (nih.gov)

Full article: Study of the relationship between Black men, culture and prostate cancer beliefs (tandfonline.com)

Traditional practices ‘put men’s health in danger’ – Sub-Saharan Africa (scidev.net)

Microsoft Word – Diss90 Gender Equity May2012.doc (equinetafrica.org)

Women’s Health | WHO | Regional Office for Africa

Full article: Conceptualisations of masculinity and sexual development among boys and young men in Korogocho slum in Kenya (tandfonline.com)

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