PARTNER WITH SAFARICOM

Kiambu women MCAs come to teen mothers' rescue

They are collecting data and providing them with basic needs for child care, urge them to continue their education

In Summary

• Since the coronavirus outbreak, Kiambu has recorded an increase in teenage pregnancies.

• Kiambu County Assembly Women Caucus to offer free counselling. 

Milka Wanja is handed goodies by Mahkor Salanki and Milda Ndara from Safaricom M-Pesa Foundation as Joyce Ngugi, Kiambu deputy governor, looks on at Kiambu Level 5 Hospital maternity wing
MOTHERHOOD: Milka Wanja is handed goodies by Mahkor Salanki and Milda Ndara from Safaricom M-Pesa Foundation as Joyce Ngugi, Kiambu deputy governor, looks on at Kiambu Level 5 Hospital maternity wing
Image: STANLEY NJENGA

Kiambu County Assembly Women Caucus is collecting data on teenage mothers so they can be helped to cope with their situation.

The girls will be counselled and supported with basic needs so they can take care of their children and themselves. The women MCAs, accompanied by Deputy Governor Joyce Ngugi and Safaricom's M-Pesa Foundation officials, toured Kiambu Level 5 Hospital maternity ward where they gave out goodies to the young mothers.

Caucus chairperson Nduta wa Muongi (nominated) said that since the outbreak of Covid-19 in Kenya, there has been an increase of underage mothers in the county. She said they suffer stigmatisation, a situation that informed their decision to reach out to them and help.

 

“One of the ways we are using to reach out to the teenage mothers is by visiting health facilities within the county and we speak with them and find solutions on what we can do to help so they do not feel stigmatised,” Nduta said.

They will also speak to all girls and mentor them so they can avoid early pregnancies. Nduta said they will not just wait for the girls to get pregnant so they can help. Their sensitisation forums will be organised in all the 12 subcounties.

“We have had interventions of speaking and advising the young girls across the county as women leaders and by partnering with Safaricom, we are able to help out those who are already pregnant,” Nduta said.

Deputy Governor Ngugi said the rising numbers of young mothers drove them as women leaders to go round hospitals to locate them. And indeed they found that to be the correct position and hence need for the collection of their data.

"It is during this time of the coronavirus that our young girls got pregnant and this got our attention as women leaders. We decided to get their data so we can offer help and they can be counselled to get back to school,” she said.

Ngugi said they will engage them in other programmes that can help them get back to school.

Mahkor Salanki of M-Pesa Foundation, while launching the Mama Baby Pack by Safaricom, said the foundation has spent Sh25.2 million on buying washing basins, pampers, baby clothing, bedsheets and soap and plan to help 6,000 disadvantaged mothers across 24 health care facilities across the country.

“Safaricom aims at transforming the lives of people, and as we celebrate our 20th anniversary, we have been visiting various partners and hospitals just to ensure that mothers have a safe delivery.

"We are happy with the services offered in hospitals, especially during the Covid-19 pandemic. They have accommodated mothers and ensured that they have safe deliveries to reduce maternal and child deaths caused by social and logistical barriers and inadequate facilities,” Salanki said.

Kiambu County Referral Hospital delivers between 30 to 40 babies daily, translating into 900 to 1,200 a month. There is an influx of patients drawn from Nairobi county due to its proximity.