Partnership in Maternal and Child Health
The Kenya Red Cross Society (KRCS), the Danish Red Cross and the European Union (EU) have partnered in a project that seeks to accelerate access to Maternal, Child Health, Nutrition and Family Planning Services in informal settlements.
This follows the launch by the EU of countrywide initiatives (EuropeAid/134675/L/ACT/KE) with the main objective of reducing maternal and child mortality across informal settlements in Kisumu, Nairobi and Mombasa.
On the 23rd February 2017, a team of KRCS personnel from Mombasa branch conducted a ground-breaking ceremony for a construction of maternity theatre unit and youth friendly centre. The ceremony that was held at Tudor Sub-County Hospital saw the attendance of community members; Community Health volunteers (CHVs) and representatives from the County Government of Mombasa, led by the Chief Officer Health, Hon. Khadija Shikelly.
“This is indeed a blessing for the community in Tudor,” said Hon. Binti Omar, County Executive Committee Member Health, Mombasa County, during her speech at the event. “As the county government, our goal is to ensure that a mother does not loose her life, while giving life. It is initiatives like this that contribute to attaining that goal,” Hon. Omar added.
This construction activity, costing about 132,000 Euros (14,615,790.00 KES) is part of the MNCH project activities targeting community members in Tudor Ward informal settlement in Mvita constituency namely; Mburukenge, Moroto and Kaa Chonjo in the case of Mombasa County. The MNCH project aims to addressing health related poverty among disadvantaged and vulnerable women and children in Mombasa Tudor Urban informal settlements.
“Once this maternity theatre unit is complete, women in this area will not have to go for referals to other hospitals when they have complications,” said Joan Makau a CHV in Tudor. “This will enable our women receive quality care during childbirth with less complications thus reducing cases of maternal deaths,” Makau added.
Part of the expected results of MNCH project include; Improved knowledge, attitude and practice regarding maternal and child health amongst target population; Educating mothers with new-born and children under five years to improve knowledge, attitude and practice of nutritional preventive actions; Improved awareness of sexual and reproductive health and uptake of family planning and Enhanced capacity of civil society organisations to identify health needs and to organise and represent urban slum communities for improving health care service delivery.
The MNCH project is funded at a tune of 1,100,000 Euros and will be implemented over a period of 36 months. It will see the construction of a maternity theatre with a bed capacity of 20 (equipped with necessary medical equipment) and a youth friendly centre to support the youth population in the target areas as far as reproductive health is concerned.
This project is co-funded by the EU and Danish Red Cross, and implemented by KRCS in partnership with Mombasa County Government.
Florence Ogola, Kenya Red Cross Society.