M-PESA Foundation and Kenya Relief have announced a partnership that will allow women and children in Migori County and beyond to access improved maternal and new-born healthcare services.
The partnership aims at reducing maternal and child deaths in the region. It will see the two organisations construct a 65-bed maternal unit which will provide prenatal, labor and delivery, post-partum, and post-operative services.
“Migori County is one of the 15 counties with maternal mortality rates that are higher than the national average and this is why we are here today to begin a journey to address these challenges in partnership with Kenya Relief and the County Department of Health in Migori County,” said John Ohaga, Trustee, M-PESA Foundation.
The maternal and new-born unit will significantly reduce the need for families to transfer their children outside Migori County for higher-level care. Kenya Relief will also send two teams of medical professionals from the US specializing in maternal and child health education and training to work with the local staff. Expanding services to include maternal child health will allow Kenya Relief to add pediatricians, neontologists, obstetricians, gynecologists, and radiologists throughout the year.
Upon completion, the Maternal Child Health Unit will be equipped with modern equipment to handle emergencies involving women and children.
Data from the Ministry of Health shows Migori County’s maternal mortality rate is 673 deaths per 100,000 live births against the national average of 362 deaths per 100,000 live births.
M-PESA Foundation has in the recent past invested in other interventions addressing maternal and child health in hard-to-reach areas. This includes the Uzazi Salama maternal and child health initiative in Samburu and Homabay and Daktari Smart telemedicine programme in Baringo, Samburu, Homabay and Lamu Counties. Daktari Smart which is a partnership with Gertrude’s Hospital Foundation aims to reduce the number of referrals of sick children by allowing county health facilities to have access to specialists.