Kenya

Free maternal healthcare drastically reduces deaths

In Summary

  • The Cabinet Secretary announced a nationwide drive for HIV testing to reduce transmission by encouraging every Kenyan to know their status.
  • According to National Aids Control Council, there were 13,000 new infections among children in 2012 and 39 per cent for expectant mothers.

By NATION CORRESPONDENT

Child and maternal deaths have dropped significantly since free maternity was introduced last year.

“Since President Uhuru Kenyatta launched the free service, maternal deaths fell by eight per cent and child mortality 16 per cent in the first six months,” Health Cabinet Secretary James Macharia said on Tuesday.

He spoke when he delivered a mobile clinic to the Taita Taveta County Government together with First Lady Margaret Kenyatta.

The Cabinet Secretary announced a nationwide drive for HIV testing to reduce transmission by encouraging every Kenyan to know their status.

Last month the ministry undertook to give infected breast-feeding mothers anti-retroviral drugs to prevent transmission of the virus to their babies.

According to National Aids Control Council, there were 13,000 new infections among children in 2012 and 39 per cent for expectant mothers.

Mr Macharia referred to the mobile clinic as a ‘Mini Level Four Hospital’ and said it would deal with minor operations, voluntary male circumcision, family planning, maternity services and HIV testing.

Director of medical services Nicholas Muraguri said that they have resolved to ensure no child or mother loses their life as a result of diseases and services which they can provide.