Strengthening marginalised communities along the Ethiopian and Kenyan border

Health Poverty Action is working with pastoralist communities who live along the border of Ethiopia and Kenya, to improve their access to health care in the Dollo Ado District in Ethiopia and Mandera in Kenya.

The pastoralist communities in these areas are geographically isolated and socially and economically marginalised, which means they experience worse health than the rest of the population. They are underrepresented in government institutions and lack a political voice, which is a root cause of their ill health.

Health services in these regions are scarce and not set up for pastoralists, who are often nomadic, moving from place to place in search of pasture and water for their animals.

Health services for pregnant women and child services such as immunisation are particularly lacking and have led to high levels of deaths of mothers and children.

Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) affects almost 100% of women.

Watch this video to hear women from the community speak about their experiences with FGM:

Health Poverty Action is working to strengthen pastoralists in their struggle for health, which includes:

  • Training local organisations in health rights.
  • Strengthening local health networks so that women facing complications in pregnancy and labour can quickly access health services.
  • Providing transport to health services.
  • Training local women (Traditional Birth Attendants) on when to refer women to health services and providing mobile phones to allow them to do this; training them in child care, and counselling.
  • Training volunteers to carry out family planning promotion and counselling.


Watch Health Poverty Action staff, and the communities they work with, discuss the various ways they are improving access to maternal and child healthcare, and raising awareness of the right to health:



This project was funded by the European Commission. You can visit the Delegation to Kenya website here.



This publication has been produced with the assistance of the European Union. The contents of this website are the sole responsibility of Health Poverty Action and can in no way be taken to reflect the views of the European Union.

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