The residents of Witu, Lamu County, were disadvantaged because they did not have a maternal health centre in their vicinity to serve them. They had to travel more than 3 hours by boat to access maternal services to the mainland Lamu. This movement put the pregnant women and their unborn children at risk. The infant mortality rate reported was at least 2 deaths of infants per month.
Safaricom Foundation invested KES 6.8 million into the building and equipping of a maternal shelter. The health facility can serve at least 12 women at the same time.
Health services at Witu have improved with a reduction in infant mortality. With the facility close by, the women do not have to travel for long distances. The shelter is also serving women from the nearby Mpeketoni and Pandanguo areas.