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State of Maternal Health in Kenya

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Maternal mortality refers to any pregnancy-related death that occurs to a woman during pregnancy and 42 days after birth.

Most of these complications occur during labor and delivery – vaginal birth or Caesarian Section.

Statistics from the World Health Organization (WHO) indicate that an average of 830 women die daily across the globe.

An overwhelming 99 percent of these deaths occur in poor and developing countries. These deaths, however, can be prevented.

Factors that contribute to high maternal mortality

Age

Available data shows that very young mothers are at risk of maternal mortality due to under-developed bodies. Women in their 20s are, however, deemed safe with fewer complications.

Accessibility of ANC Resources

During pregnancy, the last thought in a mother’s head is walking to and from antenatal care.

Sadly, this is a reality for most women in rural and slum setups where public hospitals are a distance away.

Read more: Pregnancy prevention: Pros and cons of 12 family planning methods

The only available option for such mothers is to deliver at home which is not recommended unless in the presence of a certified doula.

This usually possess risks such as deaths and severe health complications to the mother, the baby or both

Socio-economic living conditions

Finances play a major role in ensuring a healthy pregnancy through the term. Poor mothers living in underprivileged conditions often have to deal with various risks such as poor diet, poor/lack of medicine and supplements.

Gender inequality

In most developing or underdeveloped countries, women are not given equality and equity as they deserve. Most women have no say in all aspects of their lives such as reproductive health.

They had no wealth-creating opportunities for themselves. With no education, these women lack the knowledge to choose what is right for themselves.

The gap in gender inequalities is slowly being addressed by the introduction of free primary education.

Read more: Reasons men reject their women’s pregnancy

The health causes of maternal deaths include hemorrhage, blood pressure complications, infections, previous abortions, blood clots among others.

Practices that make pregnancy safer

• General awareness to women.

• Education on contraceptives.

• Increased prenatal care awareness.

• Advocating for hospital births.

•  Increasing capacity for blood transfusion.

• Increased post-partum monitoring.

Lind mama program

The Kenyan government has, in the recent past, made tremendous strides in reducing maternal mortality.

Linda mama program is such a health cover aimed at lessening maternal mortality in the country.

The program targeting poor and vulnerable households is part of the country’s universal health coverage (UHC).