Sharing experiences and solutions to end preventable maternal, newborn and child death in Africa

News article 2 Nov 2018

The Centre for Maternal and Newborn Health at the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine (CMNH-LSTM) recently participated in the 2nd African Union Maternal, Newborn and Child Health International Conference (ICMNCH) in Africa, held in Nairobi from 29th to 31st October 2018. 

ICMNCH brought together more than 800 health stakeholders from various countries, ranging from high level policy makers across diverse relevant sectors to civil society, politicians and development partners, who met to discuss the conference theme: “Maintaining Momentum and Focus towards ending Preventable Maternal, Newborn and Child Death by 2030 - A sustainable path towards Africa’s Transformation”.

Kenya’s first lady, Margaret Kenyatta, officiated the opening of this conference, co-hosted by the government of Kenya and African Union Commission. She reinforced the commitment of the government by stating, “We are committed to this trajectory (on curbing of Maternal and child deaths by 2030) because there is still a great deal of work to be done.  But the goal we are pursuing is not out of our reach” to the applause of many in the audience. 

Thus, the tone for the conference was set. Health partners, policy makers and other implementing stakeholders, commenced deliberations on various issues ranging from healthcare financing, leadership accountability and governance for maternal, newborn and child health, maternal death reviews, Safe Pregnancy among other health issues addressing maternal, child and adolescent health, with a view to forge collective resolutions to end preventable maternal, newborn and child deaths by 2030.

Dr Charles Ameh, Senior Clinical Lecturer at CMNH, led a team of health professionals including representatives from the Nursing Council of Kenya, Midwifery Association of Kenya, Kenya Medical and Dentists Practitioners Board and the Jomo Kenyatta University, in a well-presented panel discussion on Safe Pregnancy.  Their objective was to stimulate action to address avoidable factors to prevent future maternal deaths by prioritising implementation of key recommendations from the first Confidential Enquiry into Maternal Deaths in Kenya (CEMD). The panel discussion engaged an audience of approximately 60 delegates.

Throughout the 3-day conference, CMNH-LSTM participated in the marketplace exhibition booth, demonstrating the role played by skilled birth attendants in increasing availability and quality emergency obstetric and newborn care services. The booth was visited by more than 80 delegates.

Onesmus Maina and Sylvia Kawira showcasing LSTM work at the LSTM Exhibition booth

CMNH-LSTM’s Making it Happen (MiH) Expansion programme, 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 works closely with the MoH and the National Maternal and Perinatal Death Surveillance and Response (MPDSR) Committee to strengthen central level coordination of MPDSR activities.

To date, a total of 10,221 healthcare providers have been trained either directly by CMNH-LSTM or indirectly by partners in in-service competency based EmOC&NC in Kenya. In addition, 291 Master Trainers and 94 Course Directors have been trained across all 47 counties.

County Directors of Health of Turkana County and Migori County respectively visiting the LSTM exhibition booth