Improving the odds for Kenyan mothers and babies

From left: Captain Geoffrey Muyoma (Projects Officer) Nurse Clementine Osieli (Working at Kolanya Health Centre), Dr. Esiromo (From Kocholia District Hospital – Teso North) and two village elders verifying the contents in 94 MCH Kits.

HPIC is supporting the work of The Salvation Army in Western Kenya to improve access to maternal and child health care in 20 communities in Western Kenya.

“We received confirmation last week that our shipment of 94 Mother-Child Health Kits has safely arrived,” said Catherine Sharouty, HPIC’s Mother-Child Health Kit Project Manager. “These kits will provide treatment for 1,500 mothers and 3,000 infants and children under 5 years old.”

The kits are being paired with professional training for nurses, midwives and traditional birth attendants. The health workers will have the tools and the skills needed to ensure that more mothers and babies survive pregnancy, childbirth and the immediate post-partum period.

The first six kits arrived in September and the training has already been completed.

The Kenya Demographic Survey (2008/2009) indicates that maternal mortality has remained unacceptably high at an average of 488 deaths per 100,000 live births up from 414 deaths per 100,000 live births in 2003. Newborn deaths are also unacceptably high with an estimated 140 newborn deaths per day.

The scenario is worse off in Teso District, which is one of the two areas targeted by the project. The average distance to a health facility is five kms. The doctor patient ratio stands at 1: 45,372, which indicates the seriousness of health personnel shortages.

There is high infant and child morbidity and mortality. Infant mortality stands at 75 deaths per 1,000 live births. This can be attributed to inaccessibility of health facilities, high poverty levels, HIV/AIDS menace.

This project is one way to address these issues and bring hope and improved health to Kenyan mothers and babies.

Source for stats: Teso District Strategic Development Plan (2005-2010)