Born to Live

Country: Kenya
Location: Karungu, one of eight divisions of the Migori District, on the shores of Lake Victoria.
Beneficiaries: pregnant women living with HIV.

Nature of the project

Health Care.


The Project

The National Hospital Insurance Fund program in conjunction with the pre-natal Advisory and the project for the Prevention of HIV Transmission from Mother-child, is born to give the pregnant mother the possibility of a free service to the clinic, including visits, laboratory tests and ultrasound plus a sponsorship of at least six months for hospital insurance that covers the hospital birth. Usually if the registration is done three or four months before the birth, benefits cover two or three months after giving birth. At the end of the period, the sponsored family must continue to pay contributions. The important use of the free clinic during the pregnancy period and the temporary sponsorship of insurance make possible, even for poor mothers, giving birth in the hospital thus decreasing the risks associated with it. Moreover, in addition to these benefits, regular attendance to the clinic creates a peaceful relationship with the midwives who work there to offer the possibility of a real and effective formulation of a HIV test. Consequently, in case of HIV, include the submission into the project of Prevention of mother-child HIV transmission. It is not unusual for young single mothers who now have recourse to the clinic while before, for economic reasons, they could not do it. To them is given special attention because not only need the counseling service but also a gentle and respectful socio-educational accompaniment.

The Context

Kenya is ranked among the 30 poorest countries in the world. The population is mainly engaged in agriculture and the proportion of Kenyans living below the national poverty line increased from 29% in 1970 to 52% in 2006. The socio-economic situation is made even more difficult by the health problems related to the spread of malaria, tuberculosis, and especially HIV-AIDS. The province in which the St. Camillus Mission Hospital is located, the Nyanza, on the western part of the country, overlooking Lake Victoria and has the highest HIV prevalence rate in Kenya. In the districts of the region, the incidence of HIV changes according to various cultural, economic and social issues. In particular, the 70 % of new cases are among the fishing communities in the districts bordering the Lake Victoria in which the prevalence of the virus is detected by 39.3 %. The main reason, for such a wide spread of HIV in Nyanza province, is also lied in the beliefs and cultural traditions of Luo, which is the belief of the majority in the area. According to the Luo belief, AIDS is caused by witchcraft, this reduces the effectiveness of information campaigns in the country on the mode of transmission of the virus and the risks related to it. A significant influence on the spread of HIV is given by the practice of receiving the widow of the deceased's brother as an inheritance. If a woman refuses to "be inherited" is exposed anathemas and lose the right to cultivate the lands of her deceased husband.

Objectives of the intervention of the PRO.SA Foundation

By acting in this way, the hospital wants for mothers and their children free guaranteed medical assistance. Reduce the rate of child mortality and improve maternal health.

How to contribute

The annual contribution for health insurance to ensure an HIV-positive woman is 25 €.