Mothers & babies wait at Lokichur Health Center
Vital Health Services, Kenya
Update, March 2012
Background – Main Health Indicators for Kenya
Nurses and Midwives per 1000 people: 1.14 (2004, World Health Stats 2006) Other health workers* per 1000 people: 0.17 (2004, World Health Stats 2006) * not incl. community health workers – there is no data for this group in Kenya
- Rank on for Kenya on the Human Development Index (UNDP report 2007/2008): 148 out of 177
- Human Development Index (HDI) Value for Kenya in general : 0.521.
- However, in Turkana, where this program is based, the HDI Value is much less at 0.162.
The top five causes of death in Under 5s for Kenya (WHO 2008) are: Diarrhoea 20% of total number, Other 19%, Pneumonia 16%, Birth Asphyxia 10%, Prematurity 10%.
Merlin is running a Safe Motherhood Project as part of the vital health services offered. This Project aims to offer direct health benefits to:
- 7,624 infants,
- 7,624 pregnant women & new mothers,
- 47,656 women of child bearing age,
- 32,406 children under five years old,
- 50 community health workers,
- and 40 traditional birth attendants.
Up to the end of December 2011 the Project had already had a number of health successes including:
- 5,214 children fully immunized.
- 5,151 pregnant women counseled and over 75% tested for HIV, with those testing positive being given anti-retrovirals.
- Over 30,000 people being given health education and being a part of hygiene promotion sessions.
- In just three months (Sept – Nov 2011) 2, 563 women were given ante-natal care.
The Safe Motherhood Project began in April 2010 and was initially planned as a pilot project lasting three years (ending March 2013). The aim was that is could and should be expanded into other districts of Turkana in future years.
The project is already seen as a success in the local communities where Merlin works and by government officials. Merlin is now in discussions with international government funders to continue and enlarge the project for an additional three years (until April 2016).
A member of the Turkana South, Health Management Team where Merlin staff are offering local clinic and outreach teams supervision said:
“We are very grateful to MERLIN who made the exercise a success …. We hope to partner in future for good healthcare delivery in the entire district.” Sept 2011
Mother & Child, Turkana South District