Concerted efforts between the Siaya county government and partners has helped reduce maternal mortality by half in the last seven years.
The County Medical Superintendent Dr. Michael Oduor said maternal mortality has reduced to 352 for 100,000 live births currently, from 700 for 100,000 live births in 2013.
In an interview with KNA, the superintendent said the achievement was because of the concerted efforts between the county government and partners, by moving in homes to encourage expectant women to attend ante-natal clinics and to deliver in hospitals.
He said the key partners in the initiative were African Medical Research Foundation (AMREF) and United States Agency for International Development (USAID)
Dr. Oduor said the effort had resulted in 71 per cent of women in the county delivering in hospitals, up from 40 per cent four years ago.
To sustain the effort, he said, Maternal, Prenatal Death Surveillance Response (MPDSR) guidelines were drawn in 2016, part of which was the formation of committees from the county to the villages, to monitor adherence to attending clinics and delivery in hospitals.
Dr. Oduor said the committees were required to submit timely reports on the situations for appropriate actions, to prevent maternal deaths before or during childbirth or within 42 days after. “The objective is to take action on preventable maternal and prenatal deaths,” he noted.
He said in some cases women still delivered at home because the nearest hospital was about 20 kilometres away, but there was continuous upgrading of health facilities to offer maternity services.
By Paul Olale