MILESTONE

Siaya reduces child and maternal deaths by half

NGOs, including Amref credited with work to bring down mortality rate from 700 out of 100,000 four years ago

In Summary

County executive says adoption of hospital delivery and sensitisation programmes behind success in curbing mortality 

Participants at a medical camp in Ugunja on Tuesday October 1, 2019
CURBED: Participants at a medical camp in Ugunja on Tuesday October 1, 2019
Image: LAMECK BARAZA

 

 

Child and maternal deaths in Siaya have reduced by half from 700 out of 100,000 four years ago, officials say.

Statistics put the mortality rate for children under five years at 159 per 1,000, a figure that was three times higher than the national average.

Four years later, the county has managed to bring down the deaths by half, thanks to the work of non-governmental organisations.

Led by Amref through a programmed dubbed Canada Africa Initiative and Stawisha project, the organisations move to contain the deaths.

Some 847, 241 beneficiaries were targeted either directly or indirectly.  

Canada Africa Initiative and Stawisha project officer Deborah Kioko said there is need for more work to be done, citing complications brought about HIV-Aids prevalence.

Siaya's prevalence rate stands at 17.8 per cent. The national average is 5.6 per cent.

The NGOs programme ends next year after four years on the ground. Kioko said they were focusing on equipping health facilities and sensitising mothers on child nutrition.

She spoke during a free medical camp in Ugunja on Tuesday.

“We have given out specialised equipment and built capacity on special training for healthcare workers, including those at community level,” Kioko said. 

Other organisations that have supported the multi-sectorial approach to reduce child and maternal mortality in Siaya include USAID, UNICEF, Centers for Health Solutions, and Centers for Disease Control.

Siaya health executive Dorothy Owino said county investment in the health sector and support from partners had helped reduced deaths.

Owino said the county and other stakeholders have been conducting medical camps to enlighten residents on the need for hospital delivery. 

“We also realised that children and maternal mortality were engineered by home delivery and that’s why our officers had to move into homes to discourage such behaviour,” Owino said.