At least eight thousand mothers have benefitted from maternal and child healthcare promotion programme initiated by Governor Dr. Wilber Ottichilo three years ago.
The programme, dubbed Ottichilo Care, involves offering a stipend to encourage expectant mothers to attend Antenatal Care (ANC) clinic, undergo skilled delivery (administered by qualified health worker) as well as Post-Natal Care (PNC).
Dr. Ottichilo said his administration has been giving out Sh1, 000 to expectant mothers who attend ANC after the first and second trimesters while at birth the baby is provided with clothing, toiletries and shawls.
At the beginning the beneficiaries were 50 but the number has grown over the years, he said.
He said before the programme, the skilled deliveries stood at less than 50 per cent but currently they have shot up to over 90 per cent.
The county head was speaking at Bugina Health Centre in Busali location in Sabatia Sub County during the third anniversary of the programme.
He disclosed that the neonatal mortality has improved from 19 per 1,000 live births in 2018 to 7 per 1,000 in the year 2021, while maternal mortality has gone down from 521 per 100, 000 to 122 per 100,000 mothers.
“In order to ensure the sustenance of proper nutrition of the infants, the monthly stipend is provided until the age of 18 months,” he stated.
The governor added that they intend to increase Boresha afya Health Centres (BHC) from 24 to 50 to reach as many residents as possible.
At the same time, he pointed out that they have so far enrolled 11,000 poor elderly persons under the National Health Insurance Fund (NHIF) medical scheme in a bid to realize Universal Health Coverage (UHC) and intend to enlist another 2,000 this fiscal year.
The partners in the programme include the African Medical and Research Foundation (AMREF), Nutrition International (NI) and the Ministry of Health (MOH).
By Sammy Mwibanda