Ask Aunty Jane
From our support groups we know the dire need for information on reproductive health and rights. In our sharing we listened to so many stories of unsafe abortion that almost always had a tragic ending. The stories showed clear lack of information on what the law said, what services one needed, where they could access these services, what was safe and what was not.
This need for information, and for organizing, led us to start a telephone helpline that provides non-judgemental, clear information about the choices available to women and girls in Kenya. We call our hotline “Ask Aunty Jane,”. It is more like an aunty in the African traditional setting, who you could ask anything in confidence. Our goal is to increase the availability of life-saving sexual health information for anyone who calls. Initially, our focus was on safe birth and safe abortion using Misoprostol, but that information is placed squarely within the context of what it takes for anyone to have a safe, equitable, pleasurable sexual life.
The “Aunty Jane Hotline” is a live counseling hotline and an Interactive Voice Response system, meaning women can access information 24 hours a day, 7 days a week in English and Swahili. Aunty Jane gives safe reliable information on sexual and reproductive health including information on postpartum hemorrhage (PPH) prevention, contraception, unwanted pregnancy and safe abortion.
This information is aimed at enabling more and more Kenyan women to make safe and healthy choices for themselves. We do not tell anyone what they should do.
We simply provide information and resources to enable women and girls to act in their OWN best interests. Callers can leave a message or sms and if they would like to ask specific questions to someone. The hotline also gives referrals to services within the Reproductive Health Network and for other services to partner organizations.