RURAL AGRARIAN POPULATIONS IN HOMA BAY COUNTY

 

Homa Bay County is among 15 counties with the highest burden of maternal mortality in Kenya1. Child survival indices are equally poor with neonatal, infant and child mortality rates exceeding the national averages. According to the 2014 KDHS, while 76% of pregnant women visited a health facility for antenatal care, only 36% completed the recommended minimum of 4 visits before giving birth.  Just about half (52%) of mothers give birth under the care of skilled attendants while the rest deliver at home, mostly under the care of traditional birth attendants. The distressing situation in Homa Bay is as a result of poor access to and low utilisation of the available reproductive, maternal and newborn health interventions. The underlying factors include poverty, a weak health system, inadequate health awareness and harmful cultural beliefs and practices that persist among community members.

 

In order to address these gaps, various partners are implementing (MNH) programmes in Homa Bay. The Centre for Maternal and Newborn Health-Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine (CMNH-LSTM) partnered with the Kenyan Ministry of Health, DFID and UNICEF to increase the availability and improve the quality of Skilled Birth Attendance and Emergency Obstetric and Newborn Care (EmONC). LSTM does this through competency based EMONC training for maternity care and training of maternity care providers on quality improvement and strengthening MNH data gathering.

UNICEF and its implementing partners on the other, implemented the MNH programme with specific interventions aimed at increasing access and utilisation of basic maternal and new-born services targeting women of reproductive age. These included:

  • Demand side financing and human resource for health;
  • Upgrade and functionalise the centres of excellence to provide EmONC and CEmONC; and
  • Demand generation – strengthening community health system and social accountability process.

UNICEF also leveraged its technical expertise in other child related fields that addressed factors contributing to maternal and new-born mortality outside of healthcare, such as WASH (Green energy technology that  ensured safe water and improved sanitation); Nutrition (Optimal maternal nutrition at MCH, Integration of Nutrition at MCH, BFHI in the targeted health facilities (BF/IYCF) and community nutrition HII); Child Protection (FGM, Early marriages, GBV (sexual), birth registration); HIV/AIDS (integrating eMTCT in MNH); and Communication for Development (healthy behaviours and practices).

 
M-ACCESS

M-ACCESS

e-MCHR

e-MCHR

CF-CQI

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Despite the investments made to date and current MNH activities, there are opportunities for improving MNH outcomes related to the following priority gaps:

Homa Bay
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