Vihiga County through health department has allocated Sh.30 million toward enhancement of health of pregnant women and mothers 2018/2019 financial year.
Area Governor Wilber Ottichilo made the revelation at Bugina Health Centre in Sabatia Sub County Tuesday when he officially launched an ambitious Productive Maternal New-Born Child and Adolescent Health programme also known as Ottichilo Care programme.
Ottichillo said the programme’s main objective was to reduce current mortality rate, which he said was high attributing it to scarce financial resources in the county.
Citing from county health statistics, Ottichillo regretted that an average of 209 out 1000 pregnant mothers die while giving birth.
“The statistics reveal only 40 per cent of pregnant women deliver at health facilities while 60 percent give birth while at home,” observed Ottichilo.
The governor further pointed out the county records an average of 19 miscarriages out of 1000 pregnancies with about 40 infants dying at birth.
“It is sad to note about 64 out of 1000 newly born babies die before attaining five years,” he added.
The county boss encouraged pregnant mothers in the area to join the Ottichilo Care, which he said would take care of some of antenatal and postnatal expenses.
“Vihiga County is experiencing growing population of pregnant women, thus the need to put in place measures aimed at ensuring they are under proper health care,” he remarked.
He said the Ottichilo Care programme aims at encouraging pregnant women and mothers to attend antenatal and postnatal clinics at government health facilities where the programme will run.
“One of the programme’s aims is to increase the number of deliveries in our government health facilities,” the governor noted.
He, in addition, said the programme would ensure pregnant women and mothers are provided with good nutrition in order to boost life expectancy of newborns.
“Ottichilo Care would also ensure, all babies born in our health facilities are fully immunized and issued with birth certificates as required by law,” the governor added.
Appealing to county residents to embrace the programme, the governor noted the initiative was in tandem with President Uhuru Kenyatta’s Big Four Agenda, in particular Universal Healthcare.
He assured them that his administration would ensure availability of funds to enable uninterrupted supply of drugs and equipment to government health facilities for sustainability of the Ottichilo Care
“Plans are underway to employ more health workers to ensure the programme is successfully,” he said.
By Maurice Aluda