The Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN) has partnered with Kilifi County government and the Canadian government to address infant mortality and maternal deaths in the county.
In the four-year partnership, AKDN through the Aga Khan Foundation (AKF), the Aga Khan University (AKU) and the Aga Khan Health Services (AKHS) will offer quality healthcare services to expectant women and other residents.
“This project is about the people of Kilifi and we hope to see improvement in the health systems and strengthen health outcomes in the county,” said AKF Region CEO Kevin Moorhead during the launch of the programme at Gotani Health Centre in Kilifi.
He added that the goal of the programme dubbed ‘Access to Quality Care through Extending and Strengthening Health Systems (AQCESS)’ is to improve health systems and to strengthen health outcomes of expectant mothers and children in the county.
Canadian High Commissioner to Kenya Sarah Hradecky said the project will involve equipping and upgrading of the county hospitals as well as providing quality healthcare services to new-borns through treating infections and dealing with malnutrition.
She added that it will also involve facilitating e-health to the communities.
“Reproductive health is a human rights issue which needs comprehensive approach in addressing it.
“Counties are facing serious maternal health challenges and Canada is keen on helping to close existing gaps in reproductive rights and healthcare for women,” said Ms Hradecky
Kilifi Governor Amason Kingi said his government has taken strides in addressing child morbidity and improving health in the county.
He said his administration has prioritised on improving health and the project will go a long way in addressing the burden of maternal and infant deaths and illness.
“When we took over leadership, child mortality and maternal deaths were too high. That is why we made a deliberate decision to improve health infrastructure so that our mothers can deliver without any complications,” said Governor Kingi.
Despite the countrywide decrease in maternal deaths, Kilifi still features among the 15 counties with high maternal deaths.