Family Health Options Kenya (FHOK), which is IPPF’s Member Association in Kenya this week played host to a team of Program Directors and Directors of Finance drawn from different Member Associations (MAs) in the Africa region. The Directors are in Nairobi attending a strategic workshop aimed at enhancing their capacity for the improvement of the programmatic, financial and operational management practices of their MAs.
During one of their activities, which included the visit to FHOK’s headquarters in Nairobi, the Directors received insights into the different programs that FHOK is currently implementing. With a rich experience spanning over five decades, FHOK is recognized as one of the leading service providers in Sexual Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR) in Kenya. FHOK has 16 health facilities and 9 youth centers located in different parts of the country.
During the learning visit, FHOK shared its experiences in the areas of: clinical services, finance and administration, project implementation, governance, networking, building partnerships, advocacy and human resource.
Some of the projects that FHOK is currently implementing include those around the integration of SRHR issues with environmental stability and climate change, mitigating the impact of the Global Gag Rule (GGR) through the social enterprise model, and innovative youth programmes that target both in-school and out-of-school youth.
The Directors also toured FHOK’s Nairobi West Family Care Medical Center & Maternity. The center, started in 1999, operates on a 24-hour basis and offers a wide range of in and out-patient services. They include: counselling, family planning, STI treatment and management, HIV services, pre-nantal and post-natal care, maternity services, well baby clinics, gynaecological services, curative services and specialist clinics, among others. The medical center has a well-stocked pharmacy and a well-equipped laboratory.
The visiting Directors lauded FHOK for its innovative projects and passion for serving the Kenyan population with quality health services.
“Indeed, there is a lot to learn from FHOK. Their intense resource mobilization efforts, that have resulted in funding for several projects is impressive. This is something that other MAs should emulate,” said Mr. Desta Kebede, Program Director at Family Guidance Association of Ethiopia (FGAE).
“There is also plenty to learn from FHOK’s social enterprise model, which is fueled by the organization’s desire to shift its focus from traditional revenue streams -to that of using different entrepreneurial methods to create social impact,” he added.
The Directors also commended FHOK for its electronic data management system -SMART Care. This is a system that has helped the organization effectively manage its operations such as in logistics, where it is able to use data to forecast and manage commodities. The use of SMART Care has helped the MA avoid cases of stock-outs. The paperless SMART Care system has also benefitted FHOK in the integration of finances and statistics, as well as in the management of human resources at clinic level.
“SMART Care has significantly reduced the workload of our service providers when it comes to capturing of essential data in real time, and consequent generation of reports. Through SMART Care, consumer specific reports -MoH, FHOK, IPPF and donor reports are readily generated at the end of each month by our health personnel within a very short time. The system has gone a long way in ensuring quality data and enhancing compliance to reporting timelines within FHOK,” said Ms. Esther Muketo, Director, Resource Mobilization at FHOK.
FHOK is also recognized as one of IPPFAR’s Learning Centers. IPPFAR’s Learning Center Initiative (LCI) is aimed at building capacity through its Member Association network by developing and sharing innovative and best practice approaches on Sexual Reproductive Health (SRH). Learning Centers such as FHOK are regarded as centers of excellence, technical hubs and technical advisory facilities. They assist in the cementing and positioning IPPFAR as a leading service provider in Sexual Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR).
Story by Maryanne Waweru-Wanyama, Governance and Compliance Officer, IPPF Africa Region.