Traditional Culture Impedes the Fight against HIV in Kenya

By Julie Bowen

The battle against HIV/ADS in Kenya is also a battle against entrenched traditions and taboos. In the rural villages, its existence is either denied or spoken of in whispers. To these people, AIDS is not real: this is Chira, a deadly wasting disease caused by a curse that strikes down anyone who transgresses society’s norms, which can be treated only by the village medicine men. This plays into the hands of opportunists, such as the rogue herbalists who see only profit in suffering, or the vested interests of those who persist in the stigmatisation of AIDS victims – seen not least in the rigid short-sightedness of the Catholic Bishops of Kenya, who only exacerbate the problem with their hard-line pronouncements against the use of contraceptives.

Women and poverty

Throughout Kenya, women are at a disadvantage in all things. In the communities of Nyanza Province for example, the twin social stigmas of poverty and HIV/AIDS, plus the lower status of women, polygamy and the practice widow inheritance, make women particularly at risk of HIV infection. The rate of infection in the province stands at 14.7% compared to the national average of 9%. However, rates vary enormously within the province, with the Suba district showing a rate as high as 41%. Average infection rates for women in the whole of Kenya are 6.9%, compared to men at 4.4% and children at 0.9%.

Pamela Dola is a member of the Luo community in the Lake Victoria region. When her brother-in-law died of AIDS, custom dictated that his widow was then inherited by Pamela’s husband as a second wife. Three months later, the second wife died. Shortly afterwards, Pamela’s husband was taken ill and died, leaving Pamela to single-handedly raise her three children as well as the five children of the dead wife and brother-in-law. This story contains all the ingredients that make HIV/AIDS infection a high risk in such communities, where women lack the freedom to control their own lives, and sex is of prime importance in every aspect of the culture.

By custom, a widow is unclean and has to endure a ritual cleansing immediately after the death of her husband. A widow who refuses to have sex with another man is considered cursed or at least unlucky and are usually ostracised. Similarly, many of life’s important milestones such as moving house, or even the routine stages in cultivating the land are marked by ritual sex, which also has protective powers: for example, if a parent dies, a man must have sex with his wife before leaving home or be cursed. Women are seen as property and are expected not to complain when another wife comes into the house or the husband has extramarital affairs. In such a society, where a man may have sex with several women, where HIV is rife, where even its existence is denied and every death is explained away, and where education is poor and poverty drives many women into prostitution or early marriage, we see a perfect recipe for the spread of the HIV, where the heaviest burden is carried by women.

Fighting the epidemic

The Kenyan Ministry of Health has tracked the spread of HIV since 1990 through annual sentinel surveys in antenatal clinics. The turning point came around the end of the decade, when rates of adult infection peaked at 14% and the government recognised that the burden of high mortality and ill health on both the rural and urban population was eroding family ties and social cohesion. A national emergency was declared and the newly created National Aids Control Council (NACC) led the response to the epidemic with the launch of the Total War on AIDS (TOWA) campaign. More than a decade later, the UNAIDS Global Report on the AIDS epidemic for the years 2003 to 2008 shows a decline in infection rates and risk behaviour alongside increased knowledge of HIV prevention and treatment. However, death rates and numbers of new infections remain high. NACC estimates the number of Kenyans living with the disease at more than 1.1 million; and after more than a decade of decline, infection figures are again beginning to rise. While improvements in medical science and services help to control the problem, entrenched cultural practices still act as a brake on progress.          

The herbalist

With the spread of HIV, the herbalists thrive. Nobody wants the stigma of being HIV positive, so secrecy is common. Amidst fear and suspicion, the herbalists see an untapped potential for profit, but fill it only with more sorrow for the unfortunate victim. Herbal medicine is not regulated by law and there is no code of ethics among herbalists. The Kenya Medical Research Institute has established a requirement for safety assessments to be made on all drugs including traditional herbal medicines, but there is no control mechanism to ensure they are implemented. 

People like Jesse Ng’ang’a, from Gilgil in the Rift Valley region, who kept his HIV positive status a secret from his wife, family and neighbours and was looking for a release from his daily dose of antiretroviral drugs, was easy pickings. The herbalist first interrogated him about his life and the history of his disease, and then told him that through his healing powers he had cured ninety-eight cases of AIDS and had become famous and influential. An hour long consultation followed that included prayers and invocations to the supernatural. He then explained that the fee would be KSh. 4,000 ($45), with a further KSh. 10,000 ($112) for the 60 day course of treatment. Jesse then had to sign a memorandum of understanding that bound him to make the full payment for the treatment after completion or he would forfeit the title deed to his land. He was given a concoction of herbs that made him feel drunk for several days. After this he came to his senses and went back on his antiretroviral drugs. He told his wife about his infection and she encouraged him to go to the Kikopey Diatomite Community Based Organisation, a home based self help group that was able to offer him support.

Determined resistance by such individuals and organisations to the pressure by society on the HIV-positive to be ashamed and secretive about their status can help turn the tide of the epidemic. HIV/AIDS has profoundly challenged Kenyan society, putting a burden on its healthcare system. Only by the breaking down of some of society’s barriers, its prejudices and traditions, will the war against HIV eventually be won.

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Is Kenya Ready for an Openly Gay Politician?

Original Story from Daily Nation 18th September 2012, more stories here, read Mr. Kuria’s site here and see his interviews on capital talk here, here, here and here

 Mr. David Kuria has been on the forefront of fighting against poverty, increasing access to HIV services and for inclusion of the minority gay community in Kenyan mainstream.   Is there a chance that he could become the first openly gay man to become a politician in Kenya?
The first openly gay man to run for office is drawing attention to Kiambu County by running for the senate seat. Mr David Kuria recognises that his sexual orientation may be an extra challenge in the already competitive political sphere. “People may not see beyond the issue of sexual orientation and listen to my agenda” he admitted to the Nation.
He holds a Masters degree in Business Administration from the University of Nairobi. Going against the advice of many to marry, he hopes that voters will interpret his openness about his sexual orientation as honesty.
Mr Kuria hopes that the discrimination he has faced will allow him to better represent others in the society who are marginalised.
The 40-year-old has developed a campaign platform focusing on reforming laws and other structural barriers that prevent access to HIV services and fighting poverty.
Mr. Kuria has a five point agenda: 1. effective representation 2. Kiambu visibility 3. Health 4. Kuria foundation and 5. Second chances. Most of these points have been elaborated in his website above. Accordingly, Kuria proposes to apply the cluster approach to development where the periphery benefits from the trickle downs of the core; hence Kiambu’s nearness to Nairobi is a potential that needs to be exploited. According to Kuria, exploiting the current advantages well would move Kiambu beyond subsistence and enrich it.
The most unique contribution Mr. Kuria proposes to the county is that of second chances. Kuria realises that there are many people facing social exclusion because of poverty or other reasons. He proposes a model of inclusion through the social enterprise approaches and addressing the structural issues that contribute to exclusion. Hence he looks at development beyond the pure economic terms and includes the human psycho-social dimensions.
In this race Kuria faces veteran politicians with alot of experience and resources.

Kenya: New Book on the Difficulties faced by Sex Workers Out

East African Standard by Goro wa Kamau 18th August 2012

Title: A Walk at Midnight

Author: Catherine Wanjohi

Publisher: Life Bloom Services International 

Please visit this site to get in touch with the author

A Walk at Midnight is the story of the author’s journey with sex workers as she attempts to rehabilitate and inspire them with a new sense of dignity and wholesomeness. It is a journey driven by a need to give these abused women and girls a second chance in life.

It all begun quite dramatically in 2002 when the author, then a principal in a girls’ secondary school found a letter from a parent addressed to her on her desk. The parent who was HIV-positive wrote: “Teacher, you’ve been very kind to me and my girls and I am sorry I wasn’t able to attend the parents meeting last weekend … I have been sick … I don’t know how long I will live. Should I die soon, I will live my daughters with you.” Why would a dying woman have the confidence to write such a letter to her daughters’ school principal?

The letter was traumatising. Now Wanjohi understood why the youngest of the woman’s daughters had asked for permission to go to hospital in Nairobi and why she had attempted suicide when the permission was denied.

She arranged visit the ailing woman together with her daughter. After the visit, the author wondered how many of her students may be similarly affected by HIV/Aids only to discover there were several of them. The author responded by supporting the establishment of peer counselling clubs in her school. Catherine Gathoni, the girl who had just recently attempted suicide, became one of the most active participants in these clubs. She has told her story in the book Can Scars Become Stars?

The author learnt from the girls in the peer counselling clubs about the kind of homes most of her students came from — broken homes mostly headed by poor women for whom paying school fees was a struggle. In addition, those mothers who were infected with HIV/Aids had to deal with problems of social stigma. From then on any time a female parent came to see her she encouraged her to share what other story she might be holding back.

“The stories were often about negligent and irresponsible husbands, early marriages, poverty and single parenthood — voices of what really happened at home, in the family, in our society. Issues that could not be addressed in the narrow confines of the school compound.”

This realisation culminated in the author’s resignation from her school principal’s job. She founded Life Bloom Services International, an organisation through which she started working with sex workers.

Attempted suicide

At the start, it was a baptism of fire, a personally traumatising experience. A Walk at Midnight documents the lives of numerous abused women and girls who are forced to work on the streets of our cities and towns peddling their flesh in an effort to feed their children and often-poor families. Abused and stigmatised, most of these women have to be high on alcohol and drugs in order to numb their minds and conscience against the violence meted on them by their customers and law enforcement agencies.

The book is full of touching anecdotes from the lives of these abused women. Beyond the fear of the consequences of reckless, sometimes unprotected sex, their daily encounters with criminals and other shadowy characters that prowl the sex dens and the violence that accompanies their lives, these women are our ordinary sisters. Like all mothers, they want a better life for their children.

The author, a co-traveller with these women in their struggles, documents how her Life Bloom International Services works closely with Government agencies such as hospitals, prisons, the Provincial Administration, the Church and owners of bars and lodgings in Naivasha and other places where her organisation is active. She ensures the sex workers get access to medical and spiritual care as well as dignified treatment from such agencies as the police when they, inevitably, get in trouble. Through her organisation, the author teams up with well-wishers to train the women in leadership and counselling, trade and vocations, reproductive health, peace-building, basic and computer literacy among a range of other employable skills in a bid to give the sex workers a second chance in life

Sexual Violence Suffered by Commercial Sex Workers in Kenya

Posted by East African Standard 15th August 2012

Disgusting. That is what many people think about commercial sex workers. Historically, the men who have kept these women’s business thriving over time are not condemned.

Although it takes two to tango, for the sex workers’ haters, the man has no problem.

The man is like a shadow; always there but no one remembers him.

So when two sex workers, let’s call them Catherine and Agnes, were beaten up and abused by a man who solicited their services, the two women suffered silently.

They knew no one could listen to them, let alone believe their explanation.

No dignity
Catherine was in the commercial sex work for ten years. Despite the danger involved such as being infected with HIV/Aids and the ultimate stigmatisation associated with it, she hang on – for the money.

Catherine, who is now a peer educator of commercial sex workers in Kilifi County’s Mtwapa area, says the trade was anything but dignifying; the workers were always unsure of what the next man posing as a customer would turn out to be.

“The danger of contracting the HIV virus was ever real because I would sometimes get customers who never wanted to use condoms,” says Catherine.

She notes that in the trade, one would receive many clients some of whom she had never seen before yet many others well known to her.

Some of these men, she says, often turned violent. “He beats you up claiming that you have stolen money from him or just refuses to pay. And if you argue, the public sides with the man because of the suspicion with which commercial sex workers are viewed,” she states. With this kind of attitude, the man makes a twilight woman his property and uses her as he wishes because “he has paid”.

Nowhere to turn
She says there is nowhere commercial sex workers can voice their concerns because even the police are never too keen to hear their stories.

Agnes, also a former commercial sex worker, says prostitution is a murky business. But her greatest worry was how her children – who saw her as the perfect mother – could think of her if they found out what she did for a living.

The single mother of three’s next priority worry was contracting HIV/Aids. But the need for money to take care of herself and the children always made her go back to the activity.

Agnes recounts how on three different occasions she was raped by clients, respectable people in the society but whose HIV status she did not know. The violence meted on her is a typical example of what sex workers experience in the hands of men.

“In one instance, I was raped in a guest house in Ganjoni, Mombasa, by a man who then left me inside the room without any money even though he had a car. I had to have sex with the watchman there so I could get the fare back to Mtwapa,” confesses Agnes, her eyes suddenly filled with tears.

Then she has had near-death experiences. For example, one day a client raped her in his car and demanded to have anal sex. She refused and started screaming, forcing him to speed away.

Fearing for her life, Agnes jumped out of the moving car and sustained injuries. She spent the night in the bush until the following day when she got help.

In all these instances, she says, she would go for post-exposure prophylaxis just to rid her of any sexually transmitted infections, including HIV.

Involving men
At long last when these two women could not take any more from their ‘respectable’ clients, they quit through the help of a programme run by Solidarity with Women in Distress (Solwodi) Coast.

Solwodi targets areas with high sex work activities like Mtwapa, Ukunda and Mombasa town and works with the sex workers as well as male partners who get intimate with these women.

According to the chief executive, Maureen Karisa, this enables them to get to those at higher risk of contracting HIV.

Karisa says men who engage commercial sex workers have been left out in the fight against HIV/Aids as focus is more on the women. To reach the men, the organisation has many services such as moonlight VCTs and provision of condoms in areas frequented by this group.

Some of these areas are brothels, mnazi dens and strip clubs.

Says Karisa: “Members hold group therapy sessions where they talk with each other in a language they understand. In the process, they also discuss other ideas such as how to access microfinance services.”

Such sessions helped Catherine and Agnes choose new paths to walk. Catherine now sells green groceries in Mtwapa while Agnes runs a local pub in the same locality.

Agnes can now pay her children’s school fees without a worry and is proud to tell them what she does for a living, she says. Both women say they now have steady partners as opposed to before when they would go for any man as long as there was money.

Baghazal Anisa, the Coast Provincial assistant director of medical services, says many people look down upon sex workers yet those who demand the services are normal people in the society.

Says Anisa: “Gender-based violence recovery centres are open to offer help to every Kenyan regardless of who they are.”

Man publicly flogged by wife for extra marital affairs

East African Standard 23rd July 2012

Extramarital pleasures are only good when they remain a secret. But when the lid of secrecy is lifted and word gets into the ears of those meant to be in the dark, unthinkable things are sure to follow. And such was the fate of a man whose wife got wind of his adulterous ways in Nyabikae sub-location of Kuria West District. According to eyewitness accounts, the man had been in a romantic relationship with a school leaver in the neighbourhood.

Recently, when the two met on a footpath, one thing led to another and the pair dashed into a nearby maize farm. Things would have turned out fine for the lovebirds but for rude interruption from the farm owner. Instead of pretending he had seen ‘nothing’, the farmer shouted that he had stumbled upon an abomination. Villagers responded immediately from all directions.

Trance like, the pair remained rooted to the ground, silently pleading for mercy. But subscribing to the rule of law, the crowd decided to take the lovebirds to the nearest administration official. Witnesses say that the two were frog marched up to the assistant chief’s home where the lovebirds pleaded guilty as charged and profusely pleaded for forgiveness.

But while the assistant chief was still questioning the pair and admonishing them for their immoral ways, some villagers rushed to the accused man’s home and reported the matter to the real powers that be — his wife. Strangely, his wife however did not rush to the administrator’s place and those who had reported the matter thought her behaviour strange.

Little did they know that she had a better plan up her sleeve. When they left, she gathered several nimble canes and stored them in the house. The assistant chief, perhaps understanding the weakness of the male flesh, forgave the man but warned him never to repeat the mistake. The adulterous man left the administrator’s place a happy man. He believed the worst was behind him.

On entering his home, he behaved as if nothing terrible had happened and assumed his manly duties of questioning things that were not in order. His wife equally did not welcome him with ugly questions about what had happened. She calmly waited till the man was seated. Then, springing forward like an enraged bull, she tore at him, whipping him viciously and mercilessly, bellowing, “Today you will show me the shamba where you sleep with women!”

Sensing that his dirty, little secret had leaked, the man took to his heels. Unfortunately, his sprightly wife kept up with him and flogged him around the village. The villagers cheered her on. Many said that she had meted out enough punishment that would teach the husband to change his immoral ways.

 

Triumphant Recovery from Addiction to Sex and Alcohol: Inspirational!

By Daily Nation 24th July 2012

Not many people would be courageous enough to freely talk about their tainted past, especially if this past has to do with alcoholism and sex addiction, taboo subjects in our society. And yet 32-year-old Titus Ndiritu has done exactly this.

His troubling past is recorded in his memoirs, What I Never Told You: Memoirs of a Recovering Addict, a book that is a must-read for parents who have to leave their children in the care of house helps while they are at work.

Ndiritu’s is a heart-wrenching account of a little boy who is introduced to sex at the tender age of seven, but is too ashamed and scared to tell his parents, both teachers, about the abuse.

It began in 1987 following the arrival of a new house help. She would make him fondle her inappropriately, as she did the same to him. And if, as happened during the first encounter, someone walked in on them, she would spank him to make it appear as if she was punishing him for some wrong-doing.

“She always abused me behind a mask of kindness, always encouraging me to touch her first, as if it were my idea. Though it was terrifying, it made me feel special…it made me feel pleasure,” Ndiritu writes in his book.

Ndiritu and his five siblings were usually left in the care of a house help, since his parents went to work.

“Maybe if we spent sufficient time with each other, they would have observed the change in me. If they had asked me, I would have told them,” he says.

What the househelp did to him —undressing him and fondling his genitals or having him look at her as she bathed or dressed — gradually hooked him to something he had no business experiencing at that age.

By the time she left 15 months later, the damage had been done. Ndiritu would re-enact what the househelp had taught him with the young neighbourhood girls. Somehow, his actions went unnoticed.

He had his first sexual experience at 15 years, while in form two, with a student he met during the schools drama festival. From then on, there was no stopping him.

“I developed an uncontrollable sexual urge. Anytime I saw an attractive girl, I wanted to have sex with her. If I couldn’t, I would masturbate,” he says.

By the time he completed secondary school, he had started to sleep with multiple partners, mostly girls at his school and those he went to church with.

But his sexual encounters always left him feeling ashamed, such that when a couple of his classmates introduced him to cigarettes, bhang and alcohol in form one; he gladly embraced the drugs, the alcohol especially, when he found out that it numbed his conscience.

“Although the drinking started in small doses, by the time he completed secondary school, Ndiritu had become a heavy drinker.

The first sign of trouble emerged in 2001, when he decided to drop out of college. He was studying accounts at the Kenya College of Accountancy, and had just two more sections to go to become a Certified Public Account.

“It wasn’t for lack of school fees, that much I can tell you,” he comments.

Soon afterwards, he got a job as a school bursar in 2003, only to be dismissed a year later due to heavy drinking. All the while, he’d have casual sex, sometimes unprotected, and then he’d drown the shame in alcohol. When he lost this job, he went into rehab, determined to cure his addiction to alcohol.

“I never thought, not once, that my preoccupation with sex was a disease,” he says.

After he got out of rehab, he got a teaching job at an accountancy college in Nanyuki. But he couldn’t keep away from the alcohol, and a year later, he lost his job. Desperate, he took the next one that came along – stock-taking in a bar. Predictably, his drinking got worse, and taking advantage of his vulnerability, the owner would pay him with “cheap spirits” instead of money.

“I sold everything I owned; I was kicked out of my rented house, and with nowhere to go, I begun to sleep in the streets,” he says, adding that he was no different from a street boy.

He would take any job that came his way, and whatever money he made, he sunk it all into alcohol.

“This was the worst period in my life,” says Ndiritu.

News of his desperate state reached his sister, a teacher, who alerted their father. The family speedily arranged for his second rehab. He was 25 years then. But even this did not work.

Upon discharge a few months later, Ndiritu got into a relationship with a woman, who, at 49, was old enough to be his mother.

He would go through two more rehab centres before he was admitted to a psychiatric hospital in Nairobi. But he relapsed into alcoholism…again. It was only after admission to another psychiatric hospital that the root of his alcoholism were traced to sex addiction, a discovery that turned out to be his saving grace.

He learnt that there was a pattern to his drinking, in that when he was sober, he sought sex, and as soon as he was done, he turned to alcohol to try and forget the shameful memories. The doctor who detected this pattern to his sex-alcohol addiction attributed his sex addiction to his childhood encounter with the househelp who abused him.

“When I was not drunk, I was always looking for women to have sex with. I did not bother with protection, and not even HIV scared me,” he says, and adds,

“Initially, I looked for ‘nice girls’ in church, but later, I turned to commercial sex workers.”

An active church member, a youth leader and a chief campaigner of True Love Waits, “I quickly learned a secret that many religious people keep to themselves; the holier you act, the more sex you get,” writes Ndiritu, who had sexual partners in all the surrounding churches.

To ensure that he had his way, he didn’t keep chairs in his room, to ensure that any girl who visited sat on his bed. He also kept a pail of water in the room into which he threatened to immerse the girl’s clothes if she declined his advances.

If the threats failed, he used force.

“In reality, that was rape—the kind of rape that goes unreported,” he admits.

At one point, Ndiritu would have three sex encounters in a day, or “eight-to-ten women in a week” on average. When it got to a point where he no longer derived satisfaction from physical sex, he went into exhibitionism, voyeurism, and grabbing women.

The only near-normal relationship he had resulted in the birth of a daughter. The mother was a fellow student at the Kenya College of Accountancy, but the relationship was brief because of his heavy drinking and wandering eye.

“I often wonder what my life would be like had the root cause of my alcohol addiction not been detected – I am very fortunate.”

Ndiritu had his last bottle of alcohol in 2008, just before his last rehabilitation in 2008. Since then, he says, he has never touched a drop of alcohol, and has learnt to control his once uncontrollable sexual urge.

However, he admits that he is not yet ready to give a “normal relationship” a chance.

He explains:

“Because of where I am coming from, I know so much about sex, but little about intimacy. My greatest fear is that if today I’d get into a relationship, I would find myself walking out of it as soon as we got intimate.”

Ndiritu often gives talks to schools and churches on the twin addictions he knows intimately, and does not hesitate to use his experience.

Three years ago, he also reached out to his daughter, who is now 11 years old, and in class six.

“I am fortunate that I was able to form a relationship with her, and that her mother did not object to me reaching out – nothing gives me greater joy than being a father,” he says.

He is a parent in every sense – he pays her school fees and provides for all her other needs, material and emotional.

“She lives with me most of the time,” Ndiritu says. His daughter’s mother is married.

Ndiritu, who is a trainer at Support for Addiction Prevention and Treatment in Africa, SAPTA, is a final-year counselling psychology student at the Africa Nazarene University. His career choice, he says, was influenced by his experiences.

With the advantage of practical experience, he advises: “As parents, we should form a close relationship with our children, because this way, we’ll be able to tell if something is amiss, and our children will be confident enough to confide in us.

You can contact Titus on 0736 664 394/ 0717 607 383 or tittos10@yahoo.com

KENYA: Bishops Oppose the Global Contraceptives Programme

CISA No 57 July 20, 2012.

NAIROBI, July 20, 2012 (CISA ) -The Catholic Bishops of Kenya have strongly reacted to an article appearing on the Daily Nation newspaper of Friday July 13 2012 titled Kenya Joins Global Birth Control Push.
According to the newspaper, Kenya is among countries that have signed up to a new Sh356 billion global drive to promote family planning services targeting women and girls in poor countries.

In a statement signed by the chairman of the Kenya Episcopal conference His eminence John Cardinal Njue the bishops have termed the use of  “contraceptives, especially as radically proposed in the article as both dehumanizing and goes against the teaching of the church especially in a country like Kenya where a majority of the people are Christians and God fearing. It already threatens the moral fabric of the society and is an insult to the dignity and integrity of the human person.”

According to the daily, Kenya’s planning minister Wycliffe Oparanya was among more than 150 leaders from donor and developing countries, international agencies, civil society, foundations and the private sector who attended a summit in London July, 11 2012, the World Population Day, on family planning.  The summit has pledged funds to ensure 120 million women and girls in poor countries access contraceptives by 2020.

The bishops’ statement has termed this as “unimaginable, dangerous and could lead to destruction of the human society and by extension the human race,”
The bishops noted that the same foreign forces that are calling for the programme are dedicating billions of shillings promoting same sex unions while millions of women across are dying due to lack of proper maternal care facilities.

The bishops have reminded the Government of Kenya that many countries, which took such decisions, are now regretting with declining populations and nobody to consume or enjoy the much hyped development.
The bishops stated that any development must be for the common good of people, as their security and protection.
“It is not clear why such a large amount of money (Ksh 356 billion) is being used for contraceptives while many women are dying daily due to lack of proper medical care, food and housing” said the statement.

The bishops noted that if such money or a portion of it was used to develop the under-developed parts of Kenya, the so-called threatening population of 64 million people in the year 2040 would be too low.
At a time when our people are greatly affected by HIV/ AIDS and preventable road carnage, we cannot go further to condone efforts at reduction of life.
The bishops appealed to all Kenyans to reject this plan and to join forces in the liberation of women following the example of following the example of Christ’s own esteem for them. Nobody should be forced to abuse his/her dignity through contraceptives.

The said summit on family planning was co-hosted by the British Government’s Department for International Development and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.  The summit underscored the importance of access to contraceptives as both a right and a transformational health and development priority, calling it a “breakthrough for the world’s poorest girls and women, which will transform lives, now and for generations to come.”

 

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