Making it Happen Expansion, Kenya

The provision of emergency obstetric care by skilled birth attendants is internationally accepted as appropriate means to reduce maternal and newborn mortality; and the Kenyan government has included this in the National Health Strategy 2009-2015 as well as into the Second Medium Term Plan 2013-2017. 


In line with these national priorities, this programme aims to increase the availability and improve the quality of Skilled Birth Attendance and Emergency Obstetric and Newborn Care (EmOC&NC).

The Centre for Maternal and Newborn Health has been delivering the Making it Happen (MiH) programme in Kenya since 2009. The Expansion programme is the third phase of MiH. To deliver this programme, CMNH is working in partnership with the Kenyan Ministry of Health (MoH) and the Department for International Development (DFID).

Programme activities
Through this programme, CMNH will:

  • Support pre- and in-service ‘skills and drills’ training in EmOC&NC
  • Introduce and support maternal and newborn health Quality Improvement (QI) methodologies
  • Provide supportive supervision to healthcare facilities after training
  • Support Maternal and Perinatal Death Surveillance and Response (MPDSR)
  • Conduct Implementation Research

Key results to date
By the end of 2018:

  • 10,404 healthcare workers, 291 Master trainers and 94 Course Directors were trained in EmOC&NC.
  • 645 medical interns and 195 midwifery tutors were trained in EmOC&NC.
  • Skills labs have been set up and/or supported in 14 midwifery schools and 2 medical schools.
  • Over 1,000 participants have completed quality improvement workshops. QI teams have been supported to conduct maternal and perinatal death audit, identify areas for quality improvement, take action and track improvements.
  • 73 MPDSR national assessors were trained.
  • CMNH-LSTM supported and led the first Confidential Enquiry into Maternal Deaths (including 484 maternal deaths that occurred at major referral hospitals in 2014. The report, Saving Mothers’ Lives, revealed that in the majority of cases, if a better standard of care had been provided, the outcome might have been different. Recommendations for priority action following this report have been agreed, and the enquiry will be repeated in 2018 and 2019.