Promoting Economic Empowerment of Women in Africa in the Live Mothers Live Babies Campaign for Global Health
Members of New England Chapter of Co-operative Society of Ubricans hosted a successful show of products of Kenya at the African Festival, held in Lowell, Massachusetts, Saturday June 17, 2017.
Beatrice Mwarangu and Damaris Githua, the leaders of New England Chapter of Ubricans facilitated organization of a highly successful exhibition of textiles and accessories created by women in Kenya. On display among were textiles by Blessed Queens of Ubrica from Banana Hill, Kiambu County, led by Jane Nyambura Kimani (wa Jeremy).
Promotion of products created by women of Kenya is part of global health Live Mothers Live Babies Campaign created to raise awareness of deleterious health outcomes of women and children in Africa. Poverty is the greatest cause of disease, disability and death of women and children in Africa. We know that a woman in Africa becomes poor when she is unable to exchange her goods or services for currency. When a woman cannot find market for her products, services or farm produce, she ends up being poor.
Nearly 95% of people living in Kenya are unable to find market for more than 80% of their farm produce or products. The only available market comes in form of organized cartels who buy the farm produce and other products at a throwaway price. Even at this throwaway price, cartels are only able to purchase less than 20% of all the produce. The rest goes to waste. Perishable produce such as fruits, vegetable, flowers, animal products rot away in the villages of Kenya. This extreme waste of produce of the land, kills all possibility of generating wealth for the local people, and multiplies, by several orders of magnitude, the rotting capital in the country.
Without anywhere to sell a woman producer slides into extreme poverty. When sick, she is afraid to seek medical service until the disease advances, and becomes incapacitating. She is forced by worsening disease to seek medical care and arrives at a medical facility without adequate money to pay for medical service. Her money does not cover for the medical service offered by the provider at the medical facility. The provider reduces the quality and quantity of service offering to match the little money available from the patient. The problem is that the provider of medical service receives hundreds of patients with advanced disease, but with little or no money. In most cases, the patient cannot pay anything at all.
This severe lack of money to pay the providers in Kenya has led to a severe decline in the quality of medical service. Many owners of health facilities have to cut-corners just to make ends meet. Cutting corners by a medical provider means cutting a critical service, increased risk of worsening of disease, medical errors, or introduction of new diseases. Distressed medical providers in Kenya offer the lowest quality of care experienced in the world. Low quality medical service is a serious health hazard, which by itself results in death of health consumers in many instances. Health providers are seriously concerned by this problem. Without access to money however, and surrounded by masses of people with advanced disease, they are between a rock and a hard place. This is the quandary of health service.
Logical reasoning indicates that the fundamental solution to health production problem in Kenya or elsewhere lies in a system that improves the economy of each individual. In line with this logic, Ubricans have created a system to help people in 7,250 villages of Kenya to find market for their produce, services and products.
In order to help a person, he or she must first join and become a member of the Co-operative Society of Ubricans (CSU). Once joined, our community workers help the member to send to market whatever he or she is producing.
Our co-operative society is responsible for finding market for the produce, products or services. It is the job of the members of the marketing team at the co-operative to contact buyers in Kenya and internationally to secure orders of the produce. When we strike a sale, we divide the proceeds of produce/product sale into three fractions.
One fraction goes back to our member, in form of profit. Second fraction goes back to our co-operative to meet operations and administration needs. The third fraction sits in a health fund. A member seeking care at a health facility is fully covered. The owners of health facility are happy because they are assured of payment of the quantity and quality of their service offering.