Vihiga records drop in infant mortality following launch of maternal healthcare program
Vihiga County Government has reported a decline in maternal mortality rate following the rollout of a healthcare program to take care of expectant mothers and their newborns.
According to the county, three years ago Vihiga’s maternal mortality rate was 531 per 100,000 women but now it stands at 122/100,000 women. At the same time, the number of infants who died stood at 19 per 1,000 infants but now it stands at 3.2/1000 live births.
On Wednesday, Governor Dr. Wilber Ottichilo presided over the third-anniversary of the Boresha Afya ya Mama na Mtoto program dubbed Ottichilo care at Bugina Health Center in Sabatia.
Speaking during the ceremony, Dr. Ottichilo noted that when the program was launched in November 2018 it had an enrollment of only 50 women but three years down the line it has an enrollment of 8,774 mothers.
He congratulated mothers and expectant women who have embraced the program that has enabled them to access quality healthcare services in different health facilities in the Vihiga.
He assured that his government has put more plans in place to make the Boresha program more successful and make sure Vihiga registers zero maternal mortality in the next two years.
Gladys Lihanda, a Hamisi resident who is one of the beneficiaries, lauded the initiative saying her journey from pregnancy to delivery was smooth owing it to OttichiloCare. The Ksh.1,000 financial token per hospital visit from the program she says has supported her and other mothers to acquire basic needs.
Chief Officer for Health Services Dr. Mary Anyienda clarified that her department had sorted the delay in the tokens the expectant women and mothers receive usually occasioned by wrong contacts. She assured the beneficiaries that they would be receiving it promptly after every ANC visit.
Health Minister Prof. Inonga Mwanje gave his commitment to the passage of the Community Health Volunteers bill that seeks to recognize them as county workers so that they can be motivated to refer maternal cases from the villages.
During the function the women also received early Christmas which consisted of Sugar, cooking oil, diapers, baby towels, masks to mention but a few.