Safaricom has launched a Maternal, Neonatal and Child Healthcare program in Baringo County aimed at reducing the County’s maternal and infant mortality rate.
According to research by Kenya Demographic and Health survey, and UNICEF, at least 375 women die for every 100,000 who give birth and 31 infants die for every 1,000 born.
With the pilot programme, at least 15,000 women in the 7 sub-counties Mogotio, Koibatek, Marigat, Baringo Central, Baringo North, Tiaty East and East Pokot will benefit from the programme.
“We have invested KES 82 million in this programme and we are going to work closely with the County Government of Baringo and the community to ensure its success. Our aim is to reduce the delay in seeking maternal health services and the delay of women receiving care. We want to reach out to at least 15, 000 women from the various sub-counties here,” said Rita Outhe, Trustee, Safaricom Foundation.
Safaricom will work with the Baringo County to build and equip at least 3 maternity wings as well as provide ambulances to enable pregnant women in remote areas to access health care facilities.
In addition, solar panels will be set up in various health centres to enable them to operate at night.
Apart from infrastructure support, pregnant women will be encouraged to deliver in health facilities with innovative maternity services which are adapted to the traditions of the community.
Awareness creation on maternal health practices will also form part of the comprehensive program with over 500 community health volunteers being facilitated to reach out to women.
“We are grateful to Safaricom Foundation for partnering with us to save the lives of women and children in our county. We believe that through this engagement health services will get better and we will secure the future of our children,” said Baringo Governor, Stanley Kiptis.
The programme was launched in 2019 with Counties in the Coast and Rift Valley regions having benefited from it. Under the programme, Safaricom set aside Ksh132 million to promote maternal, newborn and child health services around the country.
In Lamu, a maternal shelter in Witu and a newborn unit in Faza Island were constructed and equipped and are currently serving over 2,000 people. In Mombasa County, the newborn and maternity unit at the Coast General Teaching and Referral Hospital has been renovated and equipped.
In Uasin Gishu County, the newborn unit at Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital and the maternity wing at Moiben Sub-County hospital received new equipment from the Foundation to improve service delivery.