Poor Quality Maternal Health Care For Poor Women? #NdotoZetu

The burden of the majority of maternal deaths is disproportionately borne by women who reside in low income areas or belong to the poorest sectors of the population of middle or high income ones, and it is particularly acute in regions where access to and utilization of facility-based services for childbirth and newborn care is lowest. In short, poorer women are more prone to receive poor quality of treatment especially when it comes to maternal health care.

One of the contributing factors for these elevated rates of mortality is poor quality of facility-based care for these women and newborns. Take 35 year-old Wanjiru’s case for instance. Jacinta Wanjiru is a mother of 3. Her first two deliveries were beyond difficult and finding the right words to tell her story took a little piece of me with them.

Poor Quality Maternal Health For Poor Women?Her first delivery resulted in a condition known as prolapsed uterus. Because of some cases of difficult labor and delivery, her muscles weakened leading to the uterus dropping from its initial position.

The worst part came when she learnt that after one month of surgery, doctors had left some pieces of cotton inside her, leading to lots more pain and complication; lucky for her, the condition was fixed just in time and she didn’t lose her uterus.

Her second one also came with its burden of complications. Her son was breech meaning he came out feet first. Given the pressure, she experienced lacerations in her perineum (area between her vagina and anus) but were quickly repaired and she eventually healed.

Poor Quality Maternal Health Care For Poor Women?With all this, she was starting to lose faith in herself, whether she could survive another pregnancy and if the system would be able to take care of her, considering doctors had failed her once before. Her current financial situation didn’t make her any comfortable, she lives in Kayole and has no stable job to sustain her growing family. She could barely survive let alone pay her way out of the first two procedures, what would happen the next time she decided to get another baby?

Regrettably, this isn’t just Wanjiru’s worry. Cost remains a deterrent to health facility delivery service utilization and thus free delivery services are paramount, but how many stories can you tell me of mothers who have died in the arms of a failed health care system, especially mothers who have no money to fight for quality healthcare?

Poor Quality Maternal Health Care For Poor Women?For 19 years now, the Provide International Hospital in Kayole has been a beacon of hope for mothers and their children in the area. Lucy Njeri, a Social Health Doctor for Mother and Child Survival Program saw the gap that exists in mothers who struggle during childbirth and malnourished children under five years.

Her dream is to ensure that mothers of all backgrounds get to see their children growing up healthy and strong even as their mothers continue to receive the best of care in health facilities like Provide International Hospital. This is her #NdotoZetu story and as a result of her sharing her dream,  her patients received mother packs worth Kshs 250,000 from Safaricom.

Ndoto Zetu is about supporting Kenyans who are doing extraordinary things for their communities.

Interested participants will be required to make written submissions to the Safaricom Website using the link http://Safaricom.co.ke/ndotozetu  or visit Safaricom retail shops countrywide and fill in application forms.

Submission kicks off from Monday, 7thJanuary 2019 until Saturday 6th April 2019. Safaricom will vet the submissions and will select 500 beneficiaries and their communities.

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