Health By Any Means
The primary focus of Health by Any Means (HbAM) is to create change and change agents from within communities to improve health outcomes and the general wellbeing of women and girls, especially in the global south. HbAM started in 2009 in rural Kenya as Health by Motorbike, providing health education for women and adolescent girls through “train-the-trainers” programs and through the basic distribution of health services on mobile clinics via motorbikes. In 2013, the project received the UN Award for Public Service for its work with women and girls, health, and sustainable development.
The HbAM model draws on knowledge from different sectors and academic disciplines, including feminist and eco-feminist theory, medical anthropology, public health, microenterprise, and even athletics, with the potential for much more collaboration. The structure is flexible in order to support the interests of the community, and the institutional partner needs to have access to these different arenas and facilitate communication. The collaboration between disciplines has led to a much greater impact than any one area could have managed alone.
- Gender transformative approach
- Non-hierarchical relationships
- Mutually beneficial programming
- Fluid sequencing
- Identify root causes for gender inequities in health outcomes to allow for the possibility to use health interventions as tools to motivate systemic, upstream change.
- Allow participant women and girls to encourage each other to challenge the status-quo in the spheres of gender norms, educational opportunities, and poverty.
- Redefine the relationship between academic institutions (programs, projects, research) and civil society to ensure that academic initiatives undertaken by students fill an expressed need or desire from the local community.
- Foment non-hierarchical health knowledge exchange at all levels between academics (including students, faculty, and staff) and community members building meaningful, peaceful human connections.