Samburu bears some of the worst Maternal and Child Health indicators in the world. Statistics show that only one Samburu woman in three delivers under a skilled health attendant. This translates to high levels of maternal and under-five mortality with 142 deaths out of every 1,000 births. This is double the national average. These low Maternal and Child Health outcomes are due to a combination of factors such as poor physical access to health facilities, poor quality of services, social and cultural barriers and high cost of health care
M-Pesa Foundation invested Kshs.500million towards an integrated Maternal and Child Health programme that will see provision of emergency transport for referral of pregnant women to Maralal district hospital, upgrading of health facilities and training of health workers to address issues related to quality of services provided at Barsaloi and Suguta, community education to tackle unsafe cultural beliefs, mobile network installation and Safaricom m-health solutions such as Jamii smart and HELP (Health Enablement and Learning Platform). 56 out of the 78 health facilities in the County will be renovated under the initiative in order to increase the use of quality Maternal and Neo-natal health services.
In less than one year of the pilot project implementation, we saw a dramatic improvement in key maternal health data at both Barsaloi and Suguta Mar Mar health facilities. For instance, we had 90 percent increase in deliveries in health facilities thanks to the project. The additional investment is expected to support the Samburu County in reaching the maternity targets of 75 percent women seeking ante-natal services, 44 percent skilled deliveries from 32 percent and 40 percent reduction in maternal and neonatal mortality rates.