View this email in your browser

JULY 2022


Women representing marginalised communities share their experiences of intersectional marginalisation and barriers to healthcare with our SRHR team
Maimuna, a 16-year-old Muslim young mother, was chased away from health facilities when she was pregnant and tried to get basic antenatal services. She was finally able to access a clinic when she was eight months pregnant but by this point (unfortunately) there were complications that put both her and her child’s health at risk. This could’ve been prevented. Maimuna is just one of many; the stories are endless. 

On May 28, the International Day of Action for Women’s Health, TICAH and other activists around the world took action to mobilise and highlight women’s right to health. This year, the call was on everyone to #ResistAndPersist amid global uncertainties and to continue to assert that women’s health matters and #SRHRisEssential. We hosted adolescent girls, teenage mothers, sex workers, women living with HIV, LBITIQ and community health volunteers from marginalized communities to share their experiences of intersectional marginalisation and barriers to healthcare. As the world shifts into an increasingly uncertain time for women’s health and agency, we remain committed to supporting all women to access quality health information and services. For more about our work, click here.


Artist Will not Think works on his body map during the Rika Residency on emotional health in May.
As the world reshapes itself from the pandemic, we sincerely hope that the recognition and prioritisation of mental and emotional wellness, as key to overall health, continues to grow. It certainly has within TICAH. Our DreamKona artist community has been hosting forums to discuss mental and emotional wellness over the past three years. Recently we took this a step further and hosted a Rika (“peer”) art Residency with artists to explore mental and emotional wellness through body mapping. Read the full story here

“You could see people reflecting on themselves in interesting ways; it was like someone meditating but being able to see what is happening to them and their minds and bodies during the meditation. It’s one thing for people to talk about themselves, but speech and drawings together are more powerful than just speech alone… For me it was difficult… but it made me more conscious of myself, even to today. ”  Ehoodi Kichapi, Painter

“Art is such a powerful tool, and I just realised that it is such an important practice that can heal souls….”  Lydiah Dola, Recording and Performing Artist 


Stakeholders forum held by TICAH and the Ministry of Health to integrate traditional medicine into the national health systems
With over 80% of Africans using traditional medicine as part of their health care, there is a need for traditional medicine to be integrated into national health systems. TICAH and the Ministry of Health hosted a stakeholders’ forum to build consensus and ratify the new Kenyan Traditional and Alternative Medicine Policy and the Traditional and Alternative Health Practitioners Bill, which would support traditional medicine, regulate and promote the sector. The Ministry of Health pledged to fast-track the bill before the end of this year. TICAH will continue to work with the government.  

Participants in the forum included: the Department of Culture, Kenya Medical Research Institute (KEMRI), Pharmacy and Poisons Board, National Universities, representatives from herbalists’ associations, and healthcare providers. With support from the UNESCO regional office in Nairobi, two representatives from Uganda and Tanzania joined the meeting to share their experiences.


Discussions about the myths and misconceptions around HIV during our HIV Management monthly peer support group meeting
During our monthly peer support group meetings in informal communities, we talk about the myths and misconceptions around HIV where many sexually active young people openly admit that they do not use protection. Despite the risks, girls seem to be more scared of getting pregnant than contracting HIV or other STDs.  A good number of them hold the notion that even if they get HIV it is easy to manage and “it’s not that bad.” TICAH’s Healthy Household program is working to bust these myths by providing accurate, youth-friendly information on HIV/AIDS as well as on other STDs and pregnancy. We are currently working with 100 HIV-positive young mothers in Nairobi informal settlements and our goal is to empower them to live positively, make healthy goals and choices and live fulfilling lives. 

With such rampant misinformation, and at the intersection of poverty and barriers to integrated HIV and comprehensive sexual and reproductive health services, the rate of infection will continue to rise. The Global AIDS Strategy seeks to reduce the inequalities that drive the AIDS epidemic with a focus on key populations vulnerable to HIV. Witnessing the realities and vulnerabilities of young people in our communities, we call for the Kenyan government to invest more into HIV prevention, policies and interventions that meet the diverse needs of these key populations as part of the global strategy. Comprehensive sexuality education and provision of integrated SRHR services should be at the core of HIV prevention response programming by CSOs and governments. This is critical to reducing transmission rates.  For more about our work on HIV, click here.


Have you seen our 2021 Annual Report?  Learn more about our work last year by clicking here.

We hope you will enjoy this report of our past year and all the achievements made, lessons learned and communities supported along the way.  You can access the 2021 Annual Report (as well as previous year’s reports) here.

Copyright © 2022 Trust for Indigenous Culture and Health (TICAH), All rights reserved.

Want to change how you receive these emails?
You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list.