Safaricom Foundation Launches Maternal, Newborn And Child Health Programme In Coast

Safaricom Foundation Trustee and Maternal Child health Pillar Head, Rita Okuthe checking on Claris Charo during the official handover of the Coast general maternity reception and HDU.

Residents of the Coast region are set to benefit from a maternal, newborn and child health programme funded by Safaricom Foundation.

The Foundation has partnered with the Mombasa County Government to equip the new Maternal High Dependency Unit at the Coast General hospital. The new equipment is worth over 5.2 million shillings.

In Kilifi, the foundation joined Governor Amason Kingi in a ground breaking ceremony for a new born unit at the Kilifi County hospital. The new unit will cost 39 million shillings with the foundation contributing 15 million.

“Our Maternal and Child health programme seeks to increase access and uptake of quality maternal and child health services in the Coast region. In partnership with the various County Governments we will invest in training of health workers, improving healthcare infrastructure and referral systems, community education, and community health outreaches”, said Rita Okuthe, Trustee, Safaricom Foundation.

Last week in Lamu the Foundation launched a maternal, neonatal and child health programme that seeks to offer quality healthcare services and health financing. The programme aims to reach over 42,000 people in Lamu.

According to a UNICEF report, Kenya has the third highest newborn mortality rate in East Africa with 22 deaths per 1,000 births.

Lamu County is among those with highest rates of maternal, newborn and child deaths.  According to the Kenya Demographic Health Survey of 2014, maternal mortality at the county stands at 676 for every 100,000 live births compared to the country statistic of 362 maternal deaths out of every 100,000.

The newborn death rate in Lamu is 45 newborns out of every 1,000 live births compared to 22 nationally while infant mortality rate is 76 per 1,000 compared to the average of 39 in Kenya. The under-five mortality rate is at 106 children for every 1,000 compared to 76 deaths nationally.