Note from the CEO
Greetings from HealthX Africa!
We are already well into the second quarter of 2022, and I am delighted to be able to share this second quarterly newsletter with you all.
Together with growing our client subscriptions substantially, in this past quarter we have:
- Had new colleagues join our clinical team – get to know more about our Clinical Psychologist Joyce Kamunya below.
- Added new service lines based on what our clients were asking of us – read more about our Mums2Be program in this newsletter!
- Built out additional content pages on our website – walk through our website below, and on www.healthxafrica.com.
- Contributed to health education and training for doctors, clinical officers, nurses, and other health professionals in Kenya through a 5-week webinar series on telemedicine and primary health care in partnership with Daktari Online.
- Grown our social media presence and following exponentially – thank you for joining us! (and for those of you who have not, see links to our social media channels under this message)
For regular updates about HealthX, our staff, and services, and to keep in touch with us in between these quarterly newsletters, do go to our website www.healthxafrica.com, follow us on social media or, of course, call us anytime, 24/7 toll-free on 0800720795. At HealthX Africa, we are here to serve you.
With best wishes for a happy and healthy May,
CEO, HealthX Africa
Meet Our Clinical Psychologist
Joyce Kamunya is HealthX Africa’s Clinical Psychologist, providing a wide range of mental wellness, counselling, and mental health services. Here is a short interview to get to know her better.
Good morning, Joyce! To start, please tell us more about yourself.
My name is Joyce Kamunya and I have a genuine passion for making a difference in people’s lives through my work. I have over 8 years’ counselling and mental health experience, and hold a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology, a Master’s in Clinical Psychology, and an MBA.
In your experience, what prevents people taking up mental health and counselling services that might be helpful for them?
I have always been intrigued by human behavior. Why do people do what they do? I have found that the main barriers to people taking up mental health and counselling services, even when they know they would need it, are:
- Cost: even one counselling session can run into thousands of Kenya shillings, and people often need several sessions
- Stigma and misconceptions such as “If I need help, something is wrong with me. I must be broken or abnormal” or “If I just try harder, I won’t need treatment” or “People will think less of me if I seek help” or “Therapy is just a lot of talking; I can get the help I need from my friends.”
- Stigma due to Misconceptions like.
- Lack of awareness about where to access qualified psychologists and counseling services
- If I need help, something is wrong with me. I must be broken or abnormal.
- If I just try harder, I won’t need treatment.
- People will think less of me if I seek help.
- Therapy is just a lot of talking; I can get the help I need from my friends.
In your experience, what are the common reasons people do access, or could benefit from, virtual mental wellness support and counselling?
Wow! There are many! These include:
- Better relationships
- Improved productivity at work
- Higher communication skills
- Conflict resolution
- Self-acceptance and self-esteem
- Learning to change self-defeating behaviors/ habits
- Better expression and management of emotions, including anger
- Counselling for depression, anxiety, or other mild mental health conditions
- Increased confidence and decision-making skills
- A greater sense of self and purpose
How can someone access mental wellness services at HealthX?
It is simple! Just call and book an appointment at their preferred date and time, through our toll-free line 0800720795.
What should someone expect from their first interactions with you? And subsequently?
All first interactions start with introductions, and a detailed medical history, including medications. I will go through the therapist-patient services agreement, which explains in detail about the things that concern you the most, including confidentiality and privacy, and lays out both your and my rights and responsibilities. We then go into what brought you to therapy, and your history, including childhood, education, relationships (family, romantic, friends), current living situation etc. Once we have established what is of priority to you to address in our sessions, we jointly map out and agree a care plan, and go on from there.
Are there things people can do to prepare for their first interaction?
Definitely! I suggest:
- Get a private and confidential place
- Minimize distractions, or loud backgrounds
- Be consistent with your appointments
- Come with an open mind
The rest will follow from this!
Thank you, Joyce!
In this past quarter, HealthX proudly launched our MUMS2BE program. This service – covered within our existing packages, at offered at NO additional cost – recognizes how important the planning and preparation for parenthood is, and is designed to support parents-to-be (both mums and dads, despite the name!) through this important time. Couples or individuals can join the Mums2Be program anytime, from as early as BEFORE they even get pregnant (in fact, this is recommended, to have the best and healthiest pregnancy) to close to their delivery.
Pre-conception Care. Did you know that for a healthy pregnancy, there is a lot you need to do BEFORE you get pregnant? This includes making sure you are eating healthy, taking the right pregnancy supplements, addressing any risk factors, and treating any infections you may have. Through this program, our doctors conduct full and thorough consultation and health advice for individuals and couples planning/ hoping/ considering getting pregnant. Based on the individual characteristics of the patient (their gender, age, health, family history, pregnancy and contraception history, and so much more!) as well as their family goals and ambitions, our doctors will guide you (and prescribe vitamins, medications, and request lab tests where needed) for a successful, healthy and happy pregnancy.
Antenatal Care. In Kenya, the current guidance is for women to access antenatal care – that is, care from health professionals during a pregnancy – at least four times during their pregnancy, starting soon after one finds out they are pregnant. However many times someone may see a doctor during their pregnancy, there are questions, concerns and worries that come up almost daily – am I doing the right thing for a healthy pregnancy? Should I be worried about my baby’s movements? What do I do if I am feeling unwell? Etc. Many new mums and dads are given different and conflicting advice from many different sources, and are not quite sure what to do. With the Mums2Be program at HealthX, our doctors will call each pregnant patient monthly to check on their pregnancy, answer questions, give advice, and help to prepare for the birth. And of course, our patients have access to our doctors 24/7 to answer any of their questions or concerns too, so they never have to feel alone, fearful, or anxious throughout their pregnancy.
Here is a testimonial from a satisfied mum in Nairobi. We were so happy to be able to serve her!’
Postnatal Care. It is well recognized that health risks to both mum and baby are highest in the first 6 weeks after birth, compared to the rest of the postpartum period. As a part of Mums2Be, HealthX doctors will continue to check in regularly with mum and baby (and be available 24/7 for a call, of course!) to make sure no danger signs are missed, everyone stays healthy and well, and the start of this new experience for a family is a positive one!
HEALTH INFORMATION AND SO MUCH MORE ON OUR WEBSITE
We have kept innovating and adapting our website based on feedback from all of you, to make sure it is as easy to use, and as quick to access the information you need, as possible. Our up-to-date website www.healthxafrica.com includes:
A way to reach us 24/7 directly from the website
Coming soon, you will be able to sign up and pay for HealthX Africa clinical services for yourself and others directly from our website too, and we will be sure to share that information as soon as the eCommerce platform is up and running!