Kenya’s maternal mortality rate remains high with one out of 55 women dying in childbirth. Large disparities exist between urban and rural sectors. In the rural area less than one third of women will deliver their babies with a skilled birth attendant.
In mid-2011 thousands of Somalis poured into Kenya on a daily basis, fleeing fighting and drought in Somalia. The food crisis affected the whole of the horn of Africa including the Garissa district in Kenya were hundreds of thousands of Somalis sought refuge. Currently the Dadaab area in Garissa district hosts the largest refugee camp in the world with over 400,000 refugees.
WAHA INTERNATIONAL IN KENYA
Maternal and pediatric health in Dadaab
In September 2011 Médecins du Monde France (MdM) and WAHA International started a joint project aimed at improving the health services in Dadaab hospital and in primary health centres of Garissa district. The objective is to deliver good quality sexual, reproductive and child healthcare services for the refugee and host population. The programme builds the capacity of health facilities through human and material resources and infrastructure refurbishment. This includes using WAHA International’s patented motorcycle ambulances to develop a referral system to help with the transfer of patients during delivery.
WAHA first worked in Kenya in 2009 in collaboration with the African Medical and Research Foundation (AMREF) . Together in 2009 we operated on 100 women with obstetric fistula in different regions in the country.
A situation analysis conducted in 4 districts in Kenya in 2005 showed that there were about 3000 cases of untreated fistula patients. Considering the stigma associated with this condition, this figure is likely to be only the tip of the iceberg.