Health

Health is a "State of complete physical, mental, and social well being, and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity" [Definition by World Health Organization]. Health remains one of the biggest challenges to human development.

 Persons in Kenya are more exposed to a heavy and wide ranging burden of disease, partly because of our unique geography and climate, thus they face more health risk than those in some parts of the world. In the Catholic Diocese of Homa Bay the situation is increased by the high levels of poverty that has plagued the area since independence. The high inflation rate and the economic slowdown occasioned by the global economic slowdown, accentuated by the negative events, have worsted the already terrible situation. This remains a major factor affecting ability to maintain health, or seek health services and consequently has high mortality rates for mothers and children along the lake region. Lack of access to clean water and sanitation activities is also a major hindrance of quality health in the area. Therefore there is need to adopt programmes that can improve their livelihood which will eventually assist in promotion and improvement of their health status.

Therefore there is an ever increasing need to identify facilities where people with special needs can access health care interventions.

i. HEALTH INSTITUTIONS

The Catholic Diocese of Homa Bay has 18 health institutions.

  1. St. Joseph's Hospital Mission Omboo - Homa Bay
  2. St. Paul's Mission Hospital - Homa Bay
  3. OVC
  4. IPPD
  5. Asumbi Rehabilitation Centre
  6. HIV / AIDs Programmes

There is, however, a great challenge to reorganize the activities and equip them so that they can provide the required services to the communities in the diocese. The Diocese continues to lay emphasis on and commit to preventive, curative and rehabilitative quality health for all by 2017 through improve and efficiently manage the health, facilities and health related outreach activities.

The Catholic Diocese of Homa Bay endeavours to have in place a stable medical coordinator with a functional office to manage and coordinate the health department through the diocesan structure in the development / pastoral office. The coordinator with an established Medical board is responsible for development and monitoring of the overall policy direction for the health department, formulating yearly health operation plan and monitoring the implementation. This includes overall oversight for achievement of the health objectives at the health facilities and the community outreach services.

ii. HIV / AIDS PROGRAMME

Presently HIV prevalence in Kenya, that had been steadily reducing, has stagnated according to statistics. The National prevalence of HIV stands at 7.3% but Nyanza region still registers double that, at 15.4%. The majority of the population of the Catholic Diocese of Homa Bay live along the lakeshore of Lake Victoria where the HIV / AIDs pandemic has been a major challenge facilitated by poverty and cultural beliefs. This has led to many children orphaned through AIDS. It has also created a number of widows, OVC and HIV positive people that require support in terms of treatment and care.

The basic response of the Catholic Diocese of Homa Bay to the HIV / AIDS pandemic mounts on its role as teacher and a co-ordinate effort between the Government, the youth, Christian communities, civic authorities, the media, health care workers, teachers and educators in seeking solutions to the pandemic. Like the Universal Church, the Diocese calls for a recognition of the moral dimension of the HIV / AIDS and to this effect calls for a reinforcement of traditional moral teachings and values, especially with regard to sexual behaviour and marital relationships.

Besides creating awareness program and preaching in practical and concretized manner, the Diocese is moving with speed in strengthening pastoral counselling sessions in all parishes. The Diocese also supports prevention initiatives, provision of care for people living with HIV/AIDS and care for orphans.