Elizabeth Nailantei Kileku

2017 Winner

Position: Nurse
Organization: Ministry of Health
Current Location: Kisumu, AFRICA-KENYA

Bachelors of Science in Nursing from Great Lakes University of Kisumu

Additional Degrees and Certifications:
• Diploma in nursing: st Luke’s school of nursing 2007

Elizabeth Nailantei Kileku, or Naila, was born 36 years ago in a Maasai community in Kajiado County, where girls were not expected to acquire education and often dropped out of school upon onset of puberty due to early marriage and female genital cutting. She was among the privileged whose parents went against the grain. She started at Kimana Primary before proceeding to St. Claire’s Girls Secondary School, both in Kajiado County. Her passion to better the health of the most vulnerable in the community saw her join St. Luke Nursing School in 2003 to pursue a diploma in Nursing, becoming a Registered Community Health Nurse in 2007. She has since returned to university and graduated from Great Lakes University of Kisumu School of Health Sciences in 2015 with a bachelor’s degree in Nursing. She currently works in the Department of Health in Kisumu County of Kenya as a Sub-County Reproductive Health and Quality Assurance Coordinator. Her other stints with the Ministry of Health since joining the public service in 2009 saw her work as a health centre manager (2009–11) before rising to coordinate reproductive health services (201 –12) and diversifying to manage immunization services, still at district level (2012–13). Naila is married with a son, Bjorn (8 years old), and a daughter, Beata (2 years old). She believes that family planning is a sure win in averting maternal mortality, and financial allocations at national and sub-national levels should see more effort devoted to enhancing commodity security, staff capacity-building and community FP promotion.

“To Elizabeth, family planning is the missing link to Investment! And averting maternal mortality. She champions FP in every slightest opportunity available. This has led to the formation of Kisumu FP Advocacy Network whose main focus is FP Advocacy.

–Evelyn Boakye, Development Worker (Assistant Programme Manager, Monitoring and Evaluation) at Centre for the Development of People

Describe your contributions to and achievements in family planning.

Having been trained as a family planning advocate by Healthy Policy Project in 2014, I initiated formation of Kisumu County Family planning Network (KFPAC). Advocacy efforts by targeting and engaging key stakeholders such as the political wing, the religious leaders, the health management team and the implementing partners have seen budgetary allocation for family planning and maternal health (FP/MNH) in Kisumu County rise from ZERO in 2013/2014 to 22.7M in the financial year 2016/2017. As a team, we are advocating for age appropriate comprehensive sexual education targeting the adolescents in and of schools. This has been necessitated by rising cases of teenage pregnancies in girls as young as 13 years. Kisumu County teenage pregnancy age 10-19 years is currently at 36% (Source DHIS)

What sparked your passion for family planning?

Overtime,in my career as a Nurse, I have seen women dying of preventable causes. The women and children are the most vulnerable group and bears the heaviest burden. Children have been orphaned, men have been bereaved due to avoidable causes. I strongly believe family planning is the surest means of averting maternal mortalities and the missing link to investment! Manageable family enables/empowers a woman to financial freedom! As a result, my passion to advocate for family planning is insatiable

Give one or two examples of how you display leadership in your family planning work.:

As a self declared Family Planning champion I always talk about family planning in every available opportunity and always involved in celebrating WCDs. Capacity building of providers in developing skills and competency in providing all FP methods. This is to facilitate accessibility and utilization of family planning at the same time strengthen clients’ choice of method.I engage the pregnant mothers during their ANC visits to emphasize the use of family planning within 48 hours post partum.

If you are named a winner of 120 under 40, how will you use this new platform and the $1000 grant to advance your work?

$1000 grant will be majorly on advocating for adolescents and sexual reproductive health through social media and other online platforms where adolescents in and out of school can engage freely without fear of stigmatization. I will collaborate with implementing partners in developing an accessible expertise hotline platform on Family Planning to young people. Engaging teachers, parents and other line Ministries such as Gender in a stakeholders forum will be my priority to strengthen Buy-in.

Photos of the nominee in the field/at work