Representatives from M-PESA Foundation, led by the Executive Director, Les Baillie, joined mothers, women and girls in celebrating International Day of the Girl in Samburu County, Kenya.
M-PESA Foundation currently funds the Uzazi Salama project, a maternal and child health project, within the county. As part of the celebrations, the team visited Lolmolog Dispensary to interact with beneficiaries of the project.
“As we observe this special day, we also appreciate the work that Community Health Workers (CHWs) have done. We can clearly see the difference since the project started, and we as M-PESA Foundation are very proud of your work,” stated Baillie, addressing CHWs attached to Lolmolog Dispensary.
His sentiments were echoed by Joe Ogutu, the Chairperson of Safaricom Foundation, who was also at the event. “We will not accept any more deaths of mothers and children at birth. I urge all CHWs to continue working as diligently as they have, to ensure that we record most improved maternal and child health indicators in the county,” he stated.
Samburu County is characterised by poor maternal and child health, with the community experiencing all three health delays. The three delays are: delay in decision to seek health care; delay in reaching care; and delay in receiving adequate health care. Through partnership with the County Government, Amref Health Africa and PharmAccess, with funding from MPESA Foundation, developed a unique model that addresses each of the delays.
Ngitanet Lolmodoni, from Lolmolog Village, is one of the beneficiaries of the project. “Interaction with my CHW saved my life. She told me not to give birth at home, and to attend all my clinics,” she stated. Ngitanet suffered from extreme post-partum hemorrhage after delivery. “My in-law took me to Lolmolog Dispensary, where Shiro (the facility-in-charge) saved both me and my baby,” she added.
Lucy Kingee, popularly known in the community as Shiro, was trained on Basic Emergency Obstetric and Newborn Care (BEmONC) under the Uzazi Salama project.
“I can state honestly that without the BEmONC training, I would not have been able to attend to Ngitanet, and other mothers, well,” she stated. Additionally, skilled delivery in the region has improved. “We initially had an average of 1 delivery per month, now we are recording an average of 5. All this is through the efforts of the CHWs,” stated Shiro.
Due to the increased numbers in skilled delivery, the facility, through the project, is being upgraded. “The new maternity ward is almost ready for use,” asserted John Lenaiyara, the Community Health Extension Worker.
“I would like to thank the partners and donor for all the support we have received. We have come a long way, and we believe that the impact of the Uzazi Salama project will be felt years to come,” stated Honorable Lolmodoni, the current Minister of Health in Samburu County.
Also present in the event were George Kimathi, the Director of the Institute of Capacity Development in Amref; Sanda Ojiambo, the Head of Corporate Responsibility at Safaricom; and Millicent Olulo, the PharmAccess Foundation Kenya Country Director.
“I would like to thank all the partners and the donors for the work done here. The support we have received from the County Government has been immense. Our CHWs have worked against all odds to ensure that women deliver in hospital and we are all very proud of the achievements we have recorded,” stated Millicent.
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