Kisumu: Maternal Mortality Rate Drops By 30pc

The maternal mortality rate in Kisumu County has dropped by 30 per cent over the last five years, following a successful campaign to scale up hospital deliveries in the area. The number of women delivering in health facilities has increased from 69 per cent in 2021 to 94 per cent in 2023, which has seen the infant mortality rate drop from 54 per cent to 39 per cent. Kisumu County Governor, Prof. Anyang Nyong'o, attributed the success to investment in Community Health Services and the operationalization of various health facilities across the county. The Devolved Unit, he said, has operationalised 280 Community Health Units, which have been linked to 152 public health facilities and five faith-based health facilities in the area. 'Our health indicators have systematically improved in the past five years, as reported in the Annual Demographic and Health Surveys. We are determined to do better every year until, we ensure the life of every baby born in our county,' he said. Nyong'o said the success of the p rogramme was a deliberate decision to invest in Community Health Workers (CHWs), who are the link between the community and health facilities. The number of visits made by CHWs to family households in the area, he said, increased from 187,977 in 2022 to 206,420, impacting positively on the health outcomes in the county. Through the Electronic Community Health Information System rolled out by the County Department of Medical Services, the CHWs, can monitor and refer patients to linked health facilities for better case management. 'We are blazing the train in digitization. The Department of Health's commitment to efficient data management is evident in the successful transfer and storage of 100 per cent of community health data in local physical data stores,' he said. An emergency operation centre established during the COVID-19 pandemic, he said, was still in operation and has contributed significantly in response to emergencies. He said that through a partnership with Zipline Logistics Company, the count y government can deliver drugs to health facilities, with the click of a button using drones. 'Since its launch in February 2023, 1,382 deliveries have been made in the 24 facilities where flight authorization has been obtained in Kisumu County. We are in talks with the Kenya Civil Aviation Authority to expand these services,' he said. Source: Kenya News Agency