Health Facility Readiness to Provide Emergency Obstetric and Newborn Care in Kenya: Results of a 2014 Assessment of 13 Kenyan Counties with High Maternal Mortality
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Author(s): MEASURE Evaluation PIMA
Most maternal and neonatal deaths in low-income countries, including Kenya, are attributable to a handful of preventable causes. Kenya’s Ministry of Health, working closely with county governments and other partners, is committed to expanding the coverage of emergency obstetric and newborn care (EmONC) to all health facilities nationwide. Emergency obstetric and newborn care equips health workers with skills, life-saving medicines, and equipment to manage the leading causes of maternal and newborn death.
In July 2013, in partnership with the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), the Ministry of Health embarked on a program to expand EmONC services to 15 counties spanning the country’s 10 major regions. The program began with assessments of the needs of selected facilities in 14 counties. These surveys were conducted to identify the specific changes that would be needed to expand services and to provide baseline data for purposes of monitoring and evaluation—to be able to tell what works.
In 2014, county teams, with support from USAID-funded APHIAplus partners—the Maternal and Child Survival Project (MSCP) and AMPATH PLUS—explored the EmONC needs further, focusing on the 13 Kenyan counties with the highest maternal and neonatal mortality rates. The research teams studied the preparedness of 376 health facilities (278 health centers and dispensaries and 98 hospitals) to provide emergency obstetric and newborn care. MEASURE Evaluation PIMA analyzed the research findings and disseminated them to county teams. Those teams then developed develop county and facility action plans. Having the data to determine areas of greatest need will help focus efforts to improve health services and save lives.
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