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Kenya loses 5,000 women annually to pregnancy-related complications

By ISAAC MESO | June 10th 2014
Kenya loses 5000 women every year due to preventable pregnancy-related complications according to Cabinet secretary for Health, James Macharia. [PHOTO: FILE]

Nairobi, Kenya: The country loses 5,000 women every year due to preventable pregnancy-related complications. This is according to Cabinet secretary for Health, James Macharia.

This, he noted, translates to 1 out of every 55 pregnant women being at risk of death in their lifetime as a result of child birth.

Speaking during the launch of modernised maternal equipment at Kenya Red Cross Logistics Centre, Nairobi on Monday, Macharia raised concerns over the issue stating that plans to completely eradicate mortality and eliminate mothers to child transmission of HIV are underway.

The maternity equipment which was procured by the Kenya Red Cross Society on behalf of the Government under the Global fund HIV and AIDs grant  will help in the reduction of the high mortality rate in the country.

The equipment is expected to enhance maternity service delivery, screening cervical cancer and nutritional support for both mother and child in over 480 health centres countrywide.

“This equipment is not only limited to maternity service delivery but will also cover cervical cancer screening and treatment as well as nutritional support for mothers and children. This support could not come at a better time than now when there is high political commitment for maternal and child health,” he said

The CS further noted that his Ministry in the last 2 years has trained over 10,000 health workers on skills in HIV, safe motherhood and essential obstetric care.

“We are also working towards building capacity of health care workers to ensure continuum of care for mother and children,” he said.

He also appealed to all county governments to prioritise  maternal and child health issues including HIV while emphasising national government commitment to continue supporting counties to progressively improve quality of care accorded to all Kenyans.

Macharia commended the First Lady Margaret Kenyatta on her Beyond Zero campaign adding that the project has provided additional momentum to the fight on mortality in the country.

Abbas Gullet, Kenya Red Cross Secretary General said the provision of the equipment to facilities in counties of high disease burden for (HIV/TB/Malaria) represents strategic integration of reproductive and maternal child health with prevention, care and treatment for populations affected by these diseases.

“As Civil Society actors, we will continue to extend the reach of health services to rural and underserved areas and provided much needed platforms by which to reach vulnerable and groups in a timely and efficient manner to the needs identified by our communities,” he said

The free maternity services project initiated by the Jubilee Government has seen to a decrease in mortality rate as well as improved and skilled birth attendance in the country however,

However, this alone has not been sufficient in curbing the gap that exists as far as delivery of quality and essential health services is concerned.

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