65,000 mothers in Laikipia and Tharaka Nithi Counties are set to be educated on Maternal healthcare in the next five years following a partnership between the two counties and Procter & Gamble (P&G).
Through the partnership, the three will carry out a Mother and Baby Healthcare Program which will educate new mothers in hospitals on issues of immunization, skin care, sleep, and breastfeeding.
For the past years, Kenya has seen a significant decrease in the annual number of maternal deaths across the country. But still, many women lose their lives due to pregnancy and childbirth from preventable causes such as lack of trained nurses to attend to them.
P&G, through its Mother and Baby Healthcare Program, emphasizes on quality improvement approach to reducing these causes of maternal mortality.
P&G Legal Counsel, Government Relations & Public Policy Lead for East Africa, Mr. George Owuor noted that they have invested greatly in the health of Kenya mothers.
“Laikipia and Tharaka Nithi counties are prioritizing maternal healthcare. This partnership is a natural fit in ensuring the healthy development of babies and the well-being of mothers,” said Mr. George Owuor.
Poor access, availability and underutilization of maternal and newborn health services, low value to maternal care, fear of disrespect and abuse, need for privacy, especially in rural and pastoralist communities, lack of equipment and critical infrastructures such as functional labor rooms and laboratories have also been linked to poor maternal healthcare.
Despite the decrease in child mortality rate in Kenya, a majority of nurses lack proper skills to perform their duties when it comes to Maternal Health Care.
On his part, Tharaka Nithi Governor Hon Muthomi Njuki said that having a robust and spirited health workforce in place tends to be an investment in health for today and the future.
“Our goal is to ensure we have a workforce that can promise total access to health care for our people in the county. With partners such as P&G, we are confident that Tharaka Nithi County will be the leading light on issues of maternal health. We have advanced plans to build world-class maternal health institutions that the people of Tharaka Nithi County deserve,” added Muthomi Njuki.
The partnership also seeks to complement the government’s effort in the provision of free maternal care services nationwide.