We have made progress to reduce maternal mortality

NAIROBI, Kenya, May 16, 2017 – The free Maternal Care Program has immensely contributed to the reduction of maternal mortality in Kenya.

The increased utilization of maternity services in public health facilities has contributed to the overall increase of deliveries in health facilities from 44% in 2012/13 to the current 70%.

Speaking when he hosted  the Dutch Minister of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Co-operation, Lilianne Ploumen on Tuesday, the Cabinet for Health, Dr. Cleopa Mailu revealed that  the number of deliveries now stands at 2,977,046 and  the ministry is targeting 80% in the financial  year 2016/17.

“We see encouraging results of improved reproductive health and reduced pregnancy-related deaths in the Kenya. A key reason for this has been the abolishment of maternity fees to eliminate financial barriers to accessing maternity services in public hospitals, political commitment, increased allocation of resources and intense immunization, said Dr. Mailu.

The CS noted that the government has introduced an insurance cover for poor people, disabled and elderly to improve access to quality care. Our intention is to achieve the Universal Health Coverage in the next five years, said the CS.

“We have a strong private sector and we are also engaging them with innovative ideas to offer support and promote the gains made. Under the Managed Equipment Services Program we are collaborating with Philips, a Netherlands company to equip 96 hospitals across all the 47 counties with medical equipment,” the CS noted.

The Dutch Minister for Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Co-operation Lilianne Ploumen also underscored the need for working with the private sector and communities to drive the health agenda especially the issue of teenage pregnancy, family planning and sexual education, to ensure access safe motherhood and safe abortion. “I intend to lobby the European Union during their summit this year to focus on issues of reproductive health,” she revealed.

The CS added that the Ministry of Health is developing guidelines based on the Constitution to ensure access to safe abortion.