Kekeli Women and Maternal Health

Participatory video made by the Kekkeli women themselves

Kekeli Women – women together for health and development.

In early 2007, AMURT and Seva Clinic introduced the Kekeli Woman Program. For true development, it’s essential that the local people are empowered to charge of the health education. Kekeli means ‘brightness’ and symbolized the light of knowledge dispelling the darkness of ignorance and superstition. The program trains women village health promoters. The candidates are special as they are chosen by the women in each community. After the training they go back as a health resource person in their communities. A 120 page illustrated manual summarizing all the topics covered in the course has been translated into Ewe and given to each of the Kekeli women.

Graduation of the 2nd batch of Kekeli women with volunteer trainers Olivia and Jennifer

Teaching through drama and fun

The 30 Kekeli women have divided themselves into six groups. In small groups the women come together to give health education programs in each other’s communities. To make the presentations more interesting and fun, they have abandoned dry lectures, and chosen present the topics through drama and role play. The women write the plays and act themselves, as they know very well the psychology and culture of their own people. Presentations on AIDS awareness, the dangers of alcohol abuse and superstition have been received very well.

At Dafur village the Kekeli women’s drama exposed the dangers of relying in magic and juju instead of going to the clinic to get help for health problems.

The Kekeli women’s hour long epic about the dangers of AIDS was performed at Somekpe and made deep impact.

Reproductive health in focus – combating the spread of STD’s and offering choices in family planning

During the summer of 2009, the health education effort focused on sexual health. We were shocked to find that the prevalence of STDs very high.  In meetings throughout the project areas, the women expressed their interest and need for choices in family planning.  In January we opened the Kekeli Reproductive Health Center in a new building at Seva Clinic.  Clinic staff and volunteers teach sexual health in the secondary schools in the project area through the sexual health game.

Sexual health game at Zongo secondary school

Teenage boys after sexual health game at Wudzrlo

The reproductive health center brings awareness and choice

Maternal Health in focus – training of Traditional Birth Attendants

Starting in 2005, AMURT and Seva Clinic started to support the local TBAs with regular training programs led by Susan Crowther, an experienced UK midwife. Many women in the area don’t go for check ups during pregnancy, and often come to the TBA in the middle of the night. The TBA’s are not well prepared and all to often fail to identify the complications in time. The infant mortality remain high. AMURT, Seva Clinic and the Kekeli women are doing their best to promote the importance of pre-natal check ups. In the summer of 2008, Lisa Dalporto conducted a three month program for TBA’s. In all 25 TBA’s have received birth kits and completed the training. They have joined with the Kekeli women, and are known as Kekeli TBAs. Lisa facilitated the opening of dialog and communication between the midwives at the Adidome Hospital and the village TBA’s. We hope that this new coordination and improved mutual understanding will save lives and improve the health of mothers and infants in the area.

During the summer of 2008 the weekly all day sessions were attended by 20-30 TBAs. Here, Holali and Selassie from Seva demonstrates as Lisa explains about delivering the placenta.

Susan and Bernice instruct TBA Margaret about the use of the equipment in birth kit given to all the traditional birth attendants.

To contribute you can donate online here for the Kekeli Women and the Maternal Health Program.