, NAIROBI, Kenya, Sep 13 – State House on Tuesday hosted the Health Summit where officials led by Cabinet Secretary Cleopa Mailu indicated that the free maternal health, an initiative introduced by the Jubilee Government has drastically reduced the mortality rate among women and children.
Mailu explained that the initiative has improved both pre-natal and post-natal care among mothers who have benefited from better services.
The Health CS further said the program has also seen mothers get access to free contraceptives which help in family planning.
“We know that by giving free maternity services, we have improved access to mothers to the extent whereby we doubled the number of mothers who deliver in health facilities with skilled health care attendance from 600,000 to 1.2 million people,” he said. “We know that our mothers have access to contraception from 46 to 58 percent and we know that our mothers are going for ante-natal care and we shall continue to improve that.”
Mailu also revealed that the government is seeking to increase the number of health facilities within the counties to increase access.
“As a result of that, the maternal death rate went from a high of 488 per 100, 000 to 362 and the decline will still continue to be registered. That means that we averted close to 2,000 deaths from 6,000 deaths of mothers to 4,000 deaths of mothers,” he stated.
He enumerated other gains within the health sector which include providing insurance for orphans and elderly to reduce the number of deaths.
“Recognising that most of our people live in informal settlements, we have invested Sh200 million and this is going to rise to Sh1 billion to be able to improve the health care in the informal sectors, what we call urban slums within the cities but there are other informal settlements,” he said.
“These are investments to meet the promise, matching resources with the promise we gave to Kenyans.”
He stated that these programs have improved health services to all Kenyans, as envisioned by the Jubilee Government.
“All initiatives, action of the government match with the investment, that is the specialised equipment, free maternity, upgrading health facilities. All these go towards addressing the issue of access utilisation and also quality health care for our people. These investments are tied to our manifesto 2030 and to our constitution,” he said.
The Health Summit is part of a series that have been ongoing with the last one dealing with tourism where CS Najib Balala highlighted the current status, future and the reforms they are undertaking to revive the sector.