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Stem maternal deaths in northern Kenya

By The Standard | June 29th 2016

Lately, there have been concerted efforts to improve maternal health. Such efforts should however be intensified especially in the northern region of Kenya where, for years, humanitarian crises have been experienced.

The region accounts for 60 per cent of every 10 reported maternal deaths and the reasons are easy to understand. First, lower education and cultural influence have conspired to preclude the use of contraceptives. Other factors like child marriages and female genital mutilation have taken their toll on large populations.

Today, despite a 50 per cent reduction in maternal deaths following the advent of devolution, according to Turkana Governor Josephat Nanok, Turkana County ranks among the top three counties with the worst maternal death cases, according to the latest report by the National Council for Population and Development.

First Lady Margaret Kenyatta’s ‘Beyond Zero’ campaign has gone a long way in improving maternal health in most marginalised areas of the country. Partnership between the United Nations Population Fund, World Health Organisation, Beyond Zero, the Ministry of Health and the World Bank should thus, as promised, be intensified to reach at least 25,000 women in the northern regions of the country to improve health through safe deliveries.

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