Health sector gets funding to reduce newborn deaths

Kenya’s health sector is set to benefit from a Sh6.8 billion funding to reduce newborn mortality rate in hospitals.

The eight-year funding under Newborn Essential Solutions and Technologies (NEST) is targeted to supply equipment to help preterm babies and train the medical personnel to use the equipment.

The devices to hospitals are expected to address preventable illnesses that kill newborns in the first month of life – including breathing difficulties, jaundice, infection, and hypothermia.

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Speaking during the official rollout of Kenya, the Executive Director for Center for Public Health and Development (CPHD) Dr David Adudans said the project would help reduce newborn mortality rate by 12 per cent by 2030.

“We have seen, lived and talked about pre-term babies dying for lack of expertise and equipment and this should not be so. This intervention is a game-changer as we shall not only be supplying equipment but building capacity of the clinical and biomedical workforce,” said Adudans.

Adudans said that the initiative was birthed out of intensive research across medical facilities in Kenya that revealed fundamental shortage of technology, trained clinicians and maintenance technicians to provide comprehensive care for newborns.

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He added that in Kenya the project will be jointly run by CPHD and Kenya Medical Research Institute’s Wellcome Trust Research Programme.

“Most hospitals in this region simply cannot afford to purchase existing newborn technologies. To save newborn lives, we need technologies that are effective, affordable, rugged, and easy to maintain,” said the director.

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