Officials from Kericho County, Kenya, and Challenge Initiative staff at the signing ceremony.

Officials from Kenya’s Kericho County participated in a ceremony on Sept. 12 with Jhpiego – The Challenge Initiative’s implementing partner in East Africa – to celebrate the signing of an agreement to jointly implement a plan designed to reach additional women and girls in the county with voluntary family planning services.

The Initiative’s East Africa hub works in Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania under a branded family planning campaign known as Tupange Pamoja. This new collaboration –  set to begin immediately after the signing – will help Kericho County uphold its commitment to improve access to quality family planning services as well as interventions designed to improve the management and performance of health systems that support these services.

The agreement between Kericho and Jhpiego illustrates the Initiative’s “Business Unusual” approach, where local governments self-select to participate and contribute their own human and financial resources. In return, they gain access to the Initiative’s Challenge Fund, a collection of best practice high-impact family planning solutions and technical expertise to implement those solutions.

Kericho plans to invest an estimated $130,000 and Jhpiego will invest about $120,000 over the next year. Among the crucial service delivery points the county hopes to address are health workers’ skills and capability, redistribution of contraceptive commodities, facility-based quality improvement ,Monitoring and evaluation of FP services and access to family planning medical equipment.

TCI Tupange Pamoja will also support the implementation of the program using a participatory approach led and executed by the county. There will also be regular and ongoing technical and programmatic support to the county throughout the implementation period.

The Challenge Initiative is a three-year program at the Bill & Melinda Gates Institute for Population and Reproductive Health – based at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health – that is investing in the expansion of innovative, high-impact urban reproductive health services with trusted partners and proven results in East Africa, Francophone West Africa, Nigeria and India.

Jhpiego is an international health NGO affiliated with the John Hopkins University. Jhpiego envisions a world where women and their children live a healthy and fruitful life. It works to bring low-cost health innovations to communities that are most in need.