Homa Bay County residents are set to benefit from a maternal healthcare boost after Safaricom through its two Foundations unveiled facilities worth KES 38 million.
At the Homa Bay County Referral Hospital, Safaricom Foundation has renovated the Newborn Unit at a cost of KES 1.3 million, targeting an increase in the accommodation numbers from 10 to 35 babies.
Meanwhile Ndhiwa Sub-County Hospital officially opened its new KES 36.9 million maternal, newborn, and child healthcare (MNCH) unit constructed and equipped by M-PESA Foundation under the Uzazi Salama initiative.
Uzazi Salama, which is being implemented in partnership with AMREF Health Africa, aims to strengthen the capacity of the County to provide quality and affordable reproductive, maternal, newborn, child, and adolescent health services. The programme which was launched in 2021 will run for two years with a major focus in Ndhiwa and Suba Sub-Counties benefitting close to 90,000 women and children under 5 years.
“The collaboration with the County Government of Homa Bay and AMREF Health Africa will ensure we reach as many residents as possible especially in remote areas. We are committed to improving maternal and child health in this region because we believe that no mother should lose their child or their life while delivering due to avoidable circumstances and that every baby born is a life we should fight to save,” said, Nicholas Ng’ang’a, Chairperson, M-PESA Foundation.
In Homa Bay County, M-PESA Foundation also has a telemedicine program known as Daktari Smart that is providing specialist care in remote areas. The Foundation is also constructing a 65-bed maternal unit in Migori County in partnership with Kenya Relief.
Based on the most current government statistics from the Kenya Demographic and Health Survey, the country records 362 maternal deaths for every 100,000 live births made. This is above the global target, which according to the Sustainable Development Goal (3), should be less than 70 deaths for every 100,000 live births.
A Situation Assessment Report done in 2014 by the UNFPA found that 15 out of 47 counties in Kenya accounted for 98.7% of the total maternal deaths in the country with 583 in 100,000 mothers dying every year while giving birth in Homabay alone.