In my role as the project leader I visit the site and review the progress “on the ground” twice each year. I have been in Kenya for the past one month meeting with the CHWs and reviewing their work. The 20 Kenyan CHWs who were trained by Global Health Partnerships volunteers have continued to visit the homes of newborn infants during the first week of life. On multiple occasions they have successfully detected severe illness (sepsis) in the newborns and referred them for treatment to a health facility. Early detection of severe illness in young infants can be life-saving because they often die quickly if an infection is not detected and treated promptly. The photo shows one of the young infants who was found by a CHW to have signs of a severe infection and referred to the clinic, and the nurse has started intravenous antibiotics. This child survived the illness because of the CHW’s prompt detection of the problem and the rapid initiation of appropriate treatment.
At the end of last month (February 2013), the project had been in operation for 24 months, and a total of 1,401 newborn infants were visited by the CHWs. There were 8 newborn infant deaths during that 24 month period of time, which constitutes a mortality rate of 6 per 1,000 live births. The most recent national data on child mortality for Kenya (2008-2009) cite a neonatal (first month of life) mortality rate of 31 per 1,000 live births. Therefore the observed mortality rate of 6 per 1,000 for this project suggests that the “saving newborn lives” intervention is indeed accomplishing its goal.
The generous donors who provide the funds to continue this project can be assured that their investment in the health of young children is being used effectively and efficiently. Over 95% of donations to Global Health Partnerships go directly into the program services!
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