Kisii County Government through the Department of Health has signed a partnership with Jacaranda Health and ThinkWell organisations in a bid to enhance service delivery and reduce maternal deaths in the county.
Speaking during the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) in Kisii town, the area Governor, Simba Arati said the collaboration will provide funding for maternal health solutions in the county by 50 percent and reducing drivers of neonatal and maternal deaths by 20 percent.
Arati noted the mothers will be empowered with life-saving information regarding pregnancy and post birth care adding that health care providers will also receive mentorship training focused on building their emergency obstetric and neonatal care skills.
“My administration, through the Department of Health, will continue to closely work with our development partners to improve the status of health in the county as stated in my campaign manifesto,” the Governor said.
He noted that ThinkWell has been working with Makueni, Isiolo and Kilifi counties to double their revenue from hospital insurance schemes adding that Kisii seeks to re-invest such revenue back to the health sector to improve service delivery.
Jacaranda Health Deputy Country Director, Dr. Job Makoyo noted they are committed to ensuring that mothers and babies get quality services in public hospitals.
He pointed out that the collaboration will see them implement a project known as Kenya Quality Ecosystem to ensure that mothers access health care services in public hospitals.
“We are happy to have signed this partnership that cements the relationship between us and the county to implement this project for the next three years,” said the Deputy Country Director.
Dr. Makoyo said they are currently working with 22 counties in Kenya where they are supporting more than 1000 public facilities through training of health care providers.
He pointed out that they use two approaches including empowering mothers through a free SMS platform where mothers send messages to 21884 and in turn, they receive health education throughout their pregnancy journey.
The Deputy Country Director added that the second approach entails working with public sector facilities to provide mentorship to health care workers so that they have the right skills and knowledge to attend to complications that mothers and babies present at the health facilities.
Both non-profit organisations – Jacaranda Health and ThinkWell – have been working on improving maternal health outcomes and helping low and middle-income counties achieve Universal Health Coverage.
According to the National Council for Population and Development (NCPD) estimates, about 6300 women die each year during pregnancy and childbirth, thereby reflecting the inadequate progress toward providing essential health services to all women.
The organisation reports that the greatest challenge to reducing maternal deaths in Kenya lies in counties, where maternal deaths are above the national average.
By Mercy Osongo