In Western Kenya, where HIV prevalence is two times higher than the national figures, International Medical Corps is working with the most at-risk populations for contracting and transmitting HIV/AIDS. International Medical Corps established drop-in centers that provide free HIV/AIDS prevention and care services. The centers offer HIV/AIDS education, family planning; condom promotion, demonstration, and distribution; counseling and psychosocial support; and referral services. The centers also organize support groups for those living with HIV/AIDS and train community leaders in HIV/AIDS prevention.
International Medical Corps also empowers adolescent girls and young women with the knowledge to keep themselves safe from HIV. This is done through a combination of HIV prevention activities that have successfully addressed risky sexual behaviors, HIV transmission and acquisition, and gender-based violence. By the end of the program. International Medical Corps is also studying the impact HIV self-testing and peer education can have on lowering transmission of HIV among female sex workers, while at the same time working to build the capacity of the county and national health management team in implementing science-based research and HIV programming.
CURE CERVICAL CANCER
In 2014, International Medical Corps has partnered with Cure Cervical Cancer to establish and scale up cervical cancer screening and treatment in 10 clinics in Kenya, including in the eight drop-in centers it created and at two women’s prison clinics. The 12-month project intends to screen and provide treatment to 3,500 women for cervical cancer.
International Medical Corps is currently working in seven counties to improve maternal and child health through nutrition interventions. This involves supporting the Ministry of Health to implement High Impact Nutrition Interventions (HINI) as well working with local organizations and other sectors, such as agriculture and the National Drought Management Authority, to build capacity and advocate for greater investments in nutrition. The HINI efforts target child under five years old and pregnant and breastfeeding women and to aim to reduce child mortality by 30 percent.
As part of a consortium with the Kenya Red Cross and the local organization Community Action for Rural Development, International Medical Corps is reducing child stunting through better access to nutrition services. The program also advocates for stronger political commitment to reducing malnutrition and child stunting at the county level and strengthens existing information systems to better understand how nutrition service delivery is working in health facilities.