On September 7, 2023, Amref Health Africa in Kenya launched a project in Narok County to enhance maternal and neonatal healthcare while improving outcomes related to non-communicable diseases (NCDs).
This three-year programme, dubbed “Afya Uzazi Salama,” has received initial funding of 61 million Kenyan Shillings from the Safaricom Foundation for its first year of operation. The project’s primary objective is to fortify community-based interventions, fostering increased demand for essential services such as Antenatal Care (ANC) and the presence of Skilled Birth Attendants (SBA). This includes leveraging community health promoters to support the continuum of maternal and child health services. The project’s reach is anticipated to directly and indirectly impact 158,000 beneficiaries.
During the launch event, Joseph Ogutu, Chairman of the Safaricom Foundation, emphasized the foundation’s dedication to improving lives through healthcare, a key focus area. He stated, “As Safaricom Foundation celebrates its 20th anniversary, we are committed to continuing our mission of transforming lives, with health being one of our strategic pillars. Through collaboration with the Narok County Government and AMREF on Afya Uzazi Salama, we aim to enhance the county’s maternal and child health outcomes, especially in remote regions.”
Narok County, identified as one of the high-burden areas for maternal and neonatal health challenges, has been grappling with elevated mortality rates due to home deliveries and insufficient access to skilled birthing services. Currently, the county reports a Maternal Mortality Rate (MMR) of 522 per 100,000 live births, an Infant Mortality Rate (IMR) of 37.2%, a neonatal mortality rate (UMR) exceeding 50, and stunting levels at 22%.
Governor Patrick Ole Ntutu, speaking during the launch, reiterated the county’s commitment to support the project’s implementation. He stated, “As a county, we will provide the necessary policies, infrastructure, and technical expertise required to ensure the success of Afya Uzazi Salama. We aim to ensure that our citizens can access high-quality healthcare services.”
Narok’s East Member of Parliament, Lemanken Aramat, also expressed the county’s unwavering support for Amref in this laudable initiative that directly impacts women’s lives, emphasizing its importance for the program’s success.
The Afya Uzazi Salama Project has a broader scope, aiming to advance healthcare interventions for women of reproductive age, newborns, children under five, adolescent girls, and young women. The program also intends to reinforce community-based initiatives that boost access and demand for health services, particularly in maternal and child health and non-communicable diseases (NCDs).
Gilbert Wangalwa, Deputy Country Director of Amref Health Africa in Kenya, reaffirmed Amref’s dedication to improving the health of communities through Primary health Care, with a special emphasis on women and children. This commitment aligns with the organization’s core strategic plan for 2023 to 2030, which strives to promote equitable access to quality healthcare services for our communities.
Programme anticipated outcomes:
- Improved healthcare-seeking Behaviour for Reproductive, Maternal, Neonatal, Child, and Adolescent Health (RMNCAH) and Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs).
- Improved access and utilization to quality RMNCAH and NCD services
- Strengthened county Health Systems to deliver responsive RMNCAH and NCDs services
- Evidence generated for improved programming and decision-making to promote scale and equity
Article written by:
Nyambura Gitonga | Communications & Advocacy Associate
Community Health Units 4 Universal Health Coverage CHU4UHC