Amref Health Africa will train over 400 health workers for mobile clinics donated by First Lady Margaret Kenyatta to counties across Kenya.
This afternoon, Amref Health Africa Group CEO Dr Githinji Gitahi presented a cheque to the First Lady for Ksh20 million (US$200,000) that will be used to train the health workers in basic emergency obstetric care. The training will equip health workers manning the clinics with skills and knowledge to handle the complications that often result in maternal and child deaths, ensuring that mothers who visit the mobile clinics receive quality skilled care during pregnancy and childbirth.
The First Lady’s Beyond Zero Foundation was formed in January 2014 to partner with the government in reducing maternal and child mortality in Kenya. The foundation has so far acquired 36 mobile clinics that have been distributed to various countries, beginning with the most remote and hard-to-reach parts regions. On Sunday March 6, Mrs Kenyatta will lead thousands of Kenyans in the 2016 Beyond Zero marathon to raise money to buy and equip more clinics.
Speaking during the cheque presentation at State House Nairobi today, Dr Gitahi appreciated Mrs Kenyatta’s efforts to ease the strain of providing health care for women and children in Kenya, particularly in remote areas. He pointed out that while Africa bears 25 per cent of the global health burden, it has only 3 per cent of the world’s health workers, and stressed the importance of partnerships in meeting this challenge.
“This is a great example of a very effective collaboration. The First Lady has provided the hardware in the form of mobile clinics; the ministry of health has provided the health workers; and Amref Health Africa is providing the software in the form of training, with support from our partner, Chase Bank.”
Dr Gitahi was accompanied by Chase Bank Group Managing Director Mr Duncan Kabui and Chase Bank Foundation Chairman Mr Parmain ole Narikae. The money to be used for the training is part of funds donated by the bank towards Amref Health Africa’s Stand Up for African Mothers’ programme, which aims to equip 15,000 health workers across the continent with critical midwifery skills.
Dr Gitahi said that each health worker trained in midwifery would be able to give quality care to least 500 women every year, ensuring that many women and children were reached with essential care and saved from unnecessary death.
The First Lady thanked Amref Health Africa and Chase Bank for the training support, which she said would greatly contribute to Beyond Zero’s objective of saving the lives of mothers and children.
The Principal Secretary for Health, Dr Nicholas Muraguri, announced that maternal and child health statistics in Kenya had improved as a result of concerted efforts by the Government, the Beyond Zero campaign, and the work of various partners in making health services more accessible to citizens. For instance, the number of children dying every year had fallen from 100,000 to 70,000 in the last three years, while that of women dying annually from pregnancy and childbirth-related causes had reduced from 6,000 to 4,300 over the same period. In addition, over 70 per cent of pregnant women in Kenya now deliver in health facilities.
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Note to the Editor
Amref Health Africa is an international African organisation founded and headquartered in Kenya. Amref Health Africa works with the most vulnerable African communities through its country programmes in Ethiopia, Kenya, South Sudan, Tanzania and Uganda, and its Southern Africa and West Africa regional programmes.
Amref Health Africa’s Stand Up for African Mothers campaign was launched in October 2011 to provide midwifery training for 15,000 health workers in 13 countries in Africa. So far 7,000 have been trained, while the remaining 8,000 will be trained from January 2016 to December 2018.
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