Though a lot is currently being done by the National government in order to improve the health sector, especially the part that has to do with maternal health, it is evident that there is a lot of work that still needs to be done. The president making delivery in public hospitals was a big step in improving maternal health care in the country as a number of poor women could still not afford proper antenatal care, delivery and post natal care. For the longest time, a number of Kenyans, particularly women in rural areas have suffered in the attempt to get proper maternal health care when bringing in a new born in to the world. The poorer this women are the the more poorer the level of maternal health care they are likely to receive.
According to a study done by the MHTF-PLOS Collection, “Neglected Populations: Decreasing Inequalities & Improving Measurement in Maternal Health” published by Sharma and colleagues assessed the quality of maternal health services in Kenyan facilities and the relationship between quality of care and poverty. The research finds a link between the two and largely attributes poor maternal health service to poverty. The reason blamed on the sad fact that many of the health facilities that are available in Kenya function without basic infrastructure, such as electricity and clean water, and most do not have the capacity to perform cesarean section surgeries. The ones affected by this sad truth are the poor women who are completely in capable of accessing better health services at private hospitals.
Kenya’s maternal mortality rate stood at a worrying 510 per 100,000 live births as estimated by the World Bank in 2015.
The Kenya Demographic and Health Survey (KDHS), however, states a much lower rate, 362 maternal deaths per 100,000 live births between 2007 and 2014, a decline from 520 per 100,000 during the period of 2008/2009.
There has even been better changes that will assist in ensuring women have safe deliveries. In an attempt to make free delivery a success county governments no longer receive cash to cover the free maternity programme as the government now channels the funds to the National Hospital Insurance Fund. According to Health PS Dr Nicholas Muraguri the changes were recommended at a consultative meeting in Nairobi on June 26. The meeting concerned the implementation of the health insurance subsidy for the poor and free maternity services.
As much as we still struggle with maternal health issues in the country we are definitly on the right truck towards becoming a country with good maternal health care for women.