According to government statistics, Kenya loses at least 362 women for every 100,000 live births. The introduction of free maternity service has seen delivery under skilled care increase from 44 % to 62% according to government estimates.
To help protect mothers during childbirth, M-PESA Foundation has released 25.2 million shillings to help at least 6,000 mothers from across the country.
The Foundation will give packs with each pack containing crucial items such as sanitary towels, shawls, diapers, pajamas, soap, and a basin. The pack will also contain a pictorial guide on breastfeeding and best infant care practices.
“We believe that every mother and newborn child deserves an equal chance of survival during the childbirth process. From our experience, we have seen that the Mother and Baby packs work in incentivizing women to give birth in health facilities,” said Peter Ndegwa, CEO, Safaricom.
The M-PESA Foundation has invested in two large -scale maternal health projects over the last 10 years. Uzazi Salama and LEAP aim to reduce maternal and newborn deaths in North Eastern, Nyanza, and Western regions.
Uzazi Salama is a partnership with AMREF Health Africa, the PharmAccess group, and the Samburu County government who are the implementing partners. It involves improving infrastructure, capacity building of health workers, enhancing community-based information and education, and health care financing. Through the partnership over 50 health facilities in Samburu have been renovated serving more than 250,000 people in the county
LEAP formerly known as the Health Enablement and Learning Platform aims to train, up-skill, and develop the capacity of Community Health Volunteers and their supervisors, a critical resource in delivering community health services across Kenya. Over 3,000 community health workers have been registered to reach over 360,000 people annually.