Why Maternal Health?
Maternal and infant health face significant challenges in the Nyeri and Migori regions. For instance, at the time of project inception only 53% of births in Migori were attended by a skilled professional. MAISHA’s primary objective to improve access and quality care for maternal health is broken down into two specific strategic interventions: Community Health Unit Strengthening and Facility Obstetric Services Scale-Up. Key results from the MAISHA project include the training of over 50 nurses in Emergency Obstetric and Newborn Care (EmOC). Subsequently coverage of nurses with these skills at MAISHA facilities increased in Migori from 11% to 94% and in Nyeri from 5% to 73%! MAISHA looks forward to continuing its partnership with the Nyeri and Migori communities in an effort to build upon these results!
The goal of the MAISHA partnership is reduced maternal and infant mortality in Nyeri and Migori counties in Kenya, which face significant ongoing health challenges:
- Community Health Unit Strengthening: To improve the functionality of community health units, Community Health Workers (CHWs) will be recruited and trained to provide community-level maternal, newborn, and infant care and information, creating more informed and better supported communities. This is a demand-side intervention aimed at empowering women and men with knowledge and attitudes that incline them to seek out professional care throughout pregnancy and childbirth.
- Facility Obstetric Services Scale-Up: Improving knowledge about pregnancy and childbirth among rural women is of little benefit if they are still unable to deliver safely. Thus, the expected outcome for this strategic component is to scale-up existing dispensaries and health centres to better accommodate antenatal, delivery and postnatal services. Staff will be trained in Emergency Obstetric Care (EmOC), and facilities will be equipped with enhanced equipment.
MAISHA results are ongoing, however the training component of the project has been completed. In addition, advanced diagnostic equipment and complete delivery kits were supplied to 8 health facilities to ensure women have access to proper antenatal care and adequate supplies. More results will be available following the Midterm Review in spring of 2015.