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Organization launches maternal health programmes

The M-PESA Foundation in collaboration with other partners have launched programmes worth Sh162 million for promoting maternal healthcare in Homa Bay County.

A programme to promote maternal health care dubbed Uzazi Salama will cost Sh150 million while a second project on telemedicine will cost Sh12 million.

Executive Director of Mpesa Foundation Les Baille said Salama is a two-year programme that targets about 86, 469 women and children under the age of five years in Ndhiwa and Suba sub-counties.

He said Usazi Salama project is implemented in partnership between M-PESA Foundation, PharmAccess Africa, AMREF Health Africa, Action Aid, Pathfinder international and Homa Bay County Government.

He said that the project is aimed at strengthening the county’s health systems to support the delivery of quality reproductive, maternal, new-born, child and adolescent healthcare.

Speaking Monday during the launch of the programme at the Ndhiwa Sub-County Hospital, Mr Baille expressed optimism that the programme will encourage mothers in the area to deliver in health facilities.

“Every mother and new-born child deserves an equal chance of survival during the childbirth,” he said.

Homa-Bay Governor Cyprian Awiti said Ndhiwa and Suba are faced with various challenges which put them in need of proper maternal healthcare.

“We are still battling teenage pregnancies causing complications during childbirth because biologically, their bodies are not ready for child bearing. Our partnership with Safaricom and AMREF Health Africa will not only educate on safe sex and childbirth, but also to reduce maternal and child deaths,” Awiti said.

At Sindo Sub-County Hospital, M-PESA Foundation, Getrude’s Children’s Hospital and Homa Bay County Government launched the telemedicine programme.  The programme also called Daktari Smart is an initiative that targets children’s healthcare in the county.

Getrude’s Children’s Hospital Chief Executive Officer Robert Nyarangi said they want to reach as many children as possible.

Awiti told residents to take advantage of the programme to address their health challenges.

With telemedicine, medical services can be provided remotely where a doctor attends to a patient online.  Daktari Smart aims to addressing delay in receiving adequate healthcare in rural and underserved areas through telemedicine.

Governor Awiti noted that patients who otherwise would spend time and money to travel long distances to urban areas to seek medical care will now get it at their local health facility.

By Davis Langat

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