Ongoing politically-charged conflict and natural disasters have posed significant challenges for Kenya’s efforts to reduce mortality and morbidity especially among children under-five year olds.
Kenya’s maternal mortality ratio remains high:
women dying per 100 000 live births (WHO,2015)
Initially starting in the mid 1990s and with a massive surge in mid 2011, thousands of Somalis fleeing conflict and drought have settled in Kenya. The food crisis affected the entire horn of Africa including the Garissa district in Kenya, where hundreds of thousands of Somalis sought refuge, and one the largest refugee camps in the world is located.
Additionally, there are internally displaced persons (IDPs) who have been forced to flee their homes as a result of environmental causes such as flooding or from violence and civil unrest. Many struggle to have access to basic necessities including medical care.
Machafuko informal settlement – Mombasa
ENHANCING MATERNAL AND CHILD HEALTH
WAHA is implementing a 4-year maternal and child health strengthening program in the Machafuko informal settlement of Mombasa. The project aims:
- To improve access to mother and child health care by ensuring the functionality of the settlement’s two existing health facilities, setting up a motorbike ambulance-based referral system, training Community Health Workers (CHW) to promote best practice in maternal and child health, and carrying out community outreach activities.
- To reduce the burden of obstetric fistula, through implementing a system for identification, referral and treatment of chronic postpartum complications.
- To support youth-friendly family planning services in order to delay onset of first birth and promote birth spacing. We support the establishment of youth-friendly services, provide training to family planning providers, and conduct community mobilization campaigns to improve uptake of services.
- To improve the nutrition outcome of pregnant women, mothers, newborns and children under 5 years of age through preventative nutrition services. We carry out community outreach activities to prevent malnutrition and identify cases of malnutrition for immediate referral for care.
- To implement a cell-phone based health information system shifting from paper based data collection to a mobile phone-based application.
SEE PAST PROJECTS
WAHA has been working in Kenya since 2009. Past projects include obstetric fistula care as well as ensuring maternal and child health services to the vulnerable host and refugee populations of Daddab, Garissa district, affected by the 2011 drought.
Maternal and child health strengthening in Garissa district
In response to the drought on the horn of Africa that affected host and refugee populations of Dadaab, WAHA International in collaboration with MdM France, supported Dadaab hospital, as well as the primary health facilities in its catchment area between 2011 and 2013.
The objective of the project was to deliver quality maternal and child health services for host and refugee populations. We ensured Dadaab hospital was refurbished and fully equipped and supplied, and reinforced the capacity of the hospital as well as 9 primary health centers’ local staff to provide quality reproductive, maternal, and child health services.
A referral system with 9 motorbike ambulances was established to connect primary and secondary health facilities. Mobile phones were distributed as part of this referral strategy to improve the communication between nearby villages and health centers.
In order to better link the community to the available health services and support best-practice in maternal and child health, we worked with local civil society organizations and provided health education within the community. This project substantially improved provision and uptake of maternal and child health services in the region.