Supporting County Health Teams to Improve the Quality of Maternal and Newborn Health in Kenya

News article 9 May 2018
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A team from the Centre for Maternal and Newborn Health (CMNH) recently participated in and presented at the Kenya Health Stakeholders Forum, which was held in Nairobi from 26-28 March 2018. The annual Forum facilitates consultation and cooperation between national and county government structures, whilst also encouraging participation of health sector stakeholders in evidence-based policy dialogue and sharing of best practices.

The theme of this year’s forum was ‘Accelerating progress towards realization of Universal Health Coverage (UHC) in Kenya’ with the meeting bringing together over 450 stakeholders from the Kenyan health sector including state and non-state actors comprising of private sector, academia and civil society amongst others. 

CMNH’s Making it Happen (MiH) Expansion programme, which is funded by the UK Government, works in partnership with Ministry of Health (MoH), Kenya to increase the availability and improve the quality of skilled birth attendance and emergency obstetric and newborn care (EmOC&NC).  The programme provided technical assistance and support to MoH to produce the first Confidential Enquiry into Maternal Death (CEMD) report in Kenya. The recently launched report, which anaylsed maternal deaths that occurred in 2014, showed that poor quality of care was identified in 92% of maternal deaths and health worker associated factors were identified in 75% of maternal deaths.  

Key recommendations from the CEMD report can be realised in the short and medium term at national and sub-national levels, specifically addressing the UHC objective of ensuring quality health services. At the Kenya Health Forum, Dr Charles Ameh, Senior Clinical Lecturer and Deputy Head of CMNH, presented the key recommendations from the CEMD report that can be prioritised by county governments in their maternal and newborn health (MNH) improvement workplans within the context of UHC.  These recommendations are aimed at improving the quality of care for women and newborn babies as well as improving accountability for MNH service delivery at county level.

CMNH has documented lessons learnt in implementing Maternal and Perinatal Death Surveillance and Response (MPDSR) in several countries including Kenya.

Across the 3-day event, CMNH and MiH Expansion programme staff hosted an exhibition booth which provided event attendees with:

  • further awareness of the CEMD report and its key findings and recommendations to national policy makers, county governments, donors and beneficiaries
  • communication materials detailing our work in Kenya and successes and lessons learned during implementation of evidence-based MNH interventions in all counties
  • demonstrations of EmOC&NC skills by LSTM Kenya technical staff and EmOC&NC Master Trainers using humanistic models and equipment.

As the MiH Expansion programme enters its fifth and final year of implementation, the focus of the programme will include supporting the production of Kenya’s second CEMD report, completing and publishing a portfolio of operations research, as well as documenting and disseminating key programme achievements and lessons learned. 

Dr Charles Ameh, Senior Clinical Lecturer and Deputy Head of the Centre of Maternal & Newborn Health: “LSTM is supporting the Kenya MoH to implement its National MPDSR guidelines and to use this as a launch pad to improve the accountability for quality maternal and newborn health services”.

Joyce Mutuku, LSTM Kenya Senior Technical Officer, collecting the award for best non-Governmental Organisation exhibiting at the forum from the Director of Medical Services, Dr Jackson Kioko

 

 

Photo: Joyce Mutuku, LSTM Kenya Senior Technical Officer, collecting the award for best non-Governmental Organisation exhibiting at the forum from the Director of Medical Services, Dr Jackson Kioko