For one week, I was privileged to be part of the community of Kenyans living in Kahawa West area of Kasarani Subcounty. It was my first time to visit the place, and I was more than impressed. The town is well developed and has a large population of young people. I also noticed that most of the housing in this area were built to accommodate this specific population such as students and those that are starting their first jobs. That was the first time that I realised that our survey was entirely relevant to this area.
Kahawa West Health Centre is located quite far from the central business area. After alighting from the matatu, I had to ask several people for directions. One stranger was very kind to take me up to the hospital. Initially, he also did not the way, but when I explained the directions I was given, he led me there. The first thing I noticed was that the aspect of youth-friendly services was written at the gate. So, my first stop at the reception was to ask where I can get these services. To my utter disbelief, the receptionist asked me thrice to repeat what I was asking for. In the end, she gave up and told me to ask on the treatment side. As I sat waiting for the family planning attendant to get back from lunch to serve me, I noticed that the hospital maintained very high levels of hygiene. The cleaning staff were very dedicated to their work. They were also very friendly and concerned about my health.
The facility seemed to have a specific kind of patients they expect to seek for services. As I sat there waiting, most of the people around were looking at me suspiciously. When my data partner arrived, we interviewed our first service provider. She was very candid and passionate about the situation at the facility. The two most important issues I picked from our conversation is that a demotivated workforce would find it difficult to dispense services especially AYFHS and erratic supplies makes service delivery quite complicated and sometimes impossible. As the days went by while speaking to different young people, I noticed that they were more than willing to seek these services but there were a couple of hindrances. Some of these included inadequate information, uncertainty about privacy and confidentiality, the harshness of some service providers, unrelatability with older service providers and unavailability of some of the services and commodities in the facility.
The young people and the hospital fraternity were hospitable and made our work quite smooth and manageable. I noticed that the young people had an unquenchable thirst to improve their lives and this fact impressed me. Due to these interactions, I am interested in working in this area through other social-economic projects. I would like to extend my heartfelt gratitude to the Kahawa West Health Centre fraternity, Kahawa West Community, Youth Accountability and Strategy network and my colleague Kelvin Irungu for according me the privilege to serve and supporting my work every step of the way. It was indeed an honour to be part of the project.