Rural, and especially marginalized areas in the country are known to face the wrath of health challenges, quite so maternal health. Healthcare centers are few and far between, and in the worst hit areas there is little to no infrastructure like roads for residents to reach hospitals in good time.
Even with the presence of health centers, they’re often ill equipped and therefore not able to deliver optimal services. Through CSR departments, private sector plays a huge role in improving what they can in different counties. Recently for example, maternal health services in Samburu County have received a major boost after M-PESA Foundation constructed and equipped a new born unit at Maralal Referral Hospital. This was done through the Uzazi Salama project, a partnership between M-PESA Foundation, Pharm Access, AMREF and the County Government of Samburu.
The new born unit constructed at a cost of KES 19 million will provide neo-natal services for up to 20 infants. The unit has been equipped with incubators, oxygen machines, baby scales, surgical equipment, blood pressure monitors, phototherapy machines among other assorted items. The facility also has beds for new mothers.
Samburu’s Marti Health Centre also received a newly equipped ambulance worth KES 10 million. Expectant women living between Baragoi and Maralal towns will be able to reach health centres in time using the ambulance while also receiving health services on transit.
The Uzazi Salama programme entails improving health service delivery infrastructure, capacity building of health workers, enhancing community-based information and education, and health care financing.
The programme has achieved a 75% Increase in utilization of maternity services with over 3,000 Community Health Volunteers trained not only in Samburu but in 12 other counties under the Health Programme.
In addition, the referral support system of Samburu County has been strengthened through equipping the County health management team with an ambulance command center. There has also been a significant decrease in maternal and newborn health morbidity and mortality rates in the whole of the Samburu County.