WinSenga Update/Bulletin 42.0

A while back, we received an email from an organization in the maternal-newborn health space about potential collaboration. It appears that the policies in Kenya and political will are heading in the right direction with the cause being championed by the First Lady!

Excerpt from an article on Huffington Post:

Kenya is amongst the 10 most dangerous countries for pregnant women. Between 6000 and 8000 women die every year during childbirth; the current maternal mortality rate is 488 deaths per 100,000 live births. Kenya has made little progress in reducing this to achieve the commitment set in the Millennium Development Goals of 147 deaths per 100,000.

However, thanks to the introduction of free maternity services for women by the Government of Kenya in 2013, Kenya’s dire maternal death rate may finally begin to fall.

The First Lady of Kenya, Margaret Kenyatta, has emerged as a true champion in this cause. Her drive and resolve has put the spotlight on Kenya’s efforts to reverse this tragic trend. In January 2014 she spearheaded the Beyond Zero Campaign to raise awareness about the link between good health and a strong nation, specifically demonstrating the importance of maternal, newborn and children’s health. As part of the campaign, she ran both a half and full marathon to galvanize support and mobilize resources. And her clarion call, “no woman should die giving life” has resonated across the country and globally, now even transformed by a Kenyan band into a theme song, titled, It Has to be Now.

For this innovative work, Mrs. Kenyatta was voted by the United Nations (UN) in Kenya as the UN person of the year in 2014, a well-deserved recognition for which I congratulate her. It is remarkable that she has used her position as the First Lady of Kenya to tackle a critical human development issue and has demonstrated extraordinary initiative, integrity and courage to save the lives of women and children.

I had the honor of meeting with the First Lady of Kenya in September to discuss a University of California, San Francisco initiative to address pre-term births. I was struck by her knowledge about the current situation and determination to improve maternal, newborn and child health in Kenya.

See full article here