KENYA: Records Decline in Maternal Mortality Rates

Health Cabinet Secretary Sicily Kariuki says Kenya has made great progress in improving the healthcare of women and children. The CS says the country has recorded a decline in the maternal mortality rates from 488 to 362 deaths per 100,000 live births, contraceptive prevalence having increased to 58% and Immunization of children has increased to 82% all attributed to governments interventions. “The Maternal Mortality Ratio has reduced from 488/100,000 live births to 362/100,000 live births; Neonatal mortality rate has declined to 22 deaths/1,000 live births from 31deaths/1,000 live births in 2014. In the last five years the Total Fertility Rate has declined from 6.1 children in 1990 to 3.9 children per woman today” she said. The World Health Organization reports that Sub-Saharan Africa accounts for two-thirds which is about 196000 maternal deaths annually.   She lauded the collective initiatives that have enabled Kenya to improve the general well-being of pregnant and nursing mothers. “The contraceptive prevalence rate is 58% with an unmet need for contraception reduced to 18% in 2014 from 26% in the same period. Further, six out of ten expectant mothers now receive skilled care at childbirth and over half receives postnatal care within the first 48 hours. Exclusive breastfeeding has increased and stunting reduced to 26% from 36%” she added. She noted that Kenya’s commitment to the well-being of women, children and adolescent is steadfast. “We recognize the need to invest integrated delivery of health services and life-saving interventions, so women and their children and indeed families and communities can access prevention, treatment and care when and where they need it”. She was speaking at the official opening of the 24th Board meeting of The Partnership for Maternal, Newborn & Child Health (PMNCH) which brought together global health stakeholders to take stock of the progress made in women’s, children’s and adolescents’ health in relation to the attainment of universal health coverage and the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals Leaders who attended the forum called on those who will participate in ICPD25+ conference to kick off on Monday in Nairobi to rally behind fully financed health plans to ensure universal access to sexual and reproductive health rights.

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