Residents of Homa Bay County in Kenya will soon have access to improved maternal healthcare thanks to the efforts of Safaricom and its two foundations. Safaricom Foundation has renovated the Newborn Unit at Homa Bay County Referral Hospital, increasing the number of baby beds from 10 to 35 at a cost of KES 1.3 million. Additionally, the M-PESA Foundation, under the Uzazi Salama initiative, has constructed and equipped a new KES 36.9 million maternal, newborn, and child healthcare unit at Ndhiwa Sub-County Hospital. These facilities, worth a total of KES 38 million, will undoubtedly improve healthcare outcomes for mothers and children in the area.
The Uzazi Salama program was designed to improve reproductive, maternal, newborn, child, and adolescent health care in Ndhiwa and Suba Sub-Counties in partnership with AMREF Health Africa. The initiative, launched in 2021, will run for a period of two years and is expected to benefit approximately 90,000 women and children under the age of 5. The main goal of the program is to increase the county’s capacity to provide high-quality and affordable health services in these areas.
The M-PESA Foundation has announced a collaboration with the County Government of Homa Bay and AMREF Health Africa in an effort to improve maternal and child health in the region. The partnership aims to reach as many residents as possible, particularly those in remote areas, and will focus on reducing the number of deaths and complications that occur during childbirth due to preventable causes. “At our organization, we prioritize maternal and child health in our region. We strongly believe that no mother should suffer the loss of her child or her own life due to preventable causes during childbirth. We are dedicated to saving every newborn life, as we believe every baby is worth fighting for. Our commitment to improving maternal and child health reflects our values and our commitment to making a positive impact in our community,” said Nicholas Ng’ang’a, Chairperson of the M-PESA Foundation. The foundation is dedicated to saving the lives of mothers and their children and is determined to make sure that every baby has the chance to thrive.
In Homa Bay County, the M-PESA Foundation has implemented a telemedicine program called Daktari Smart, which provides specialized medical care to remote areas. The Foundation is also working with Kenya Relief to construct a 65-bed maternal unit in Migori County.
According to Kenya’s Demographic and Health Survey, the country has a maternal mortality rate of 362 deaths per 100,000 live births, which exceeds the global target of less than 70 deaths per 100,000 live births set by the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 3.
A 2014 Situation Assessment Report by the UNFPA found that 15 out of 47 counties in Kenya accounted for 98.7% of the country’s maternal deaths, with Homabay alone experiencing a maternal mortality rate of 583 deaths per 100,000 mothers.