Author: Naomi Mwaura

Woman in Mathare slum. Image Courtesy: Creative Commons on Flickr.


According to the recent statistics from the World Health Organization, at least one woman dies every minute due to complications related to pregnancy or childbirth around the world. This equals almost 300 000 women ever year. A functional health system equipped with skilled personnel is key to saving women’s and children lives. Improvement of maternal health is enshrined in the Millennium Development Goals as one of the essential prerequisites of development and poverty eradication. In Kenya, the maternal deaths currently stand at 488 per 100,000 deliveries. President Uhuru Kenyatta announced during the Madaraka Day celebrations that women will have access to free maternal services countrywide in public hospitals starting June 1st. The government made budgetary arrangements of US $50,000 for free maternity and prenatal care to mothers giving birth in public health institutions with an aim of reducing maternal and prenatal fatalities. In addition, the government also waived the US $0.25 charge for registration. Treasury had already released US $12,500 for the first quarter, April to June, to buy additional equipment such as delivery beds and incubators. And in a Press …