Kenya needs to step up efforts to meet its goal of reducing the number of women who die in childbirth or from pregnancy related complications by 15 per cent, health experts said.
Despite saving more than 52,000 lives of women and children between 2003 and 2014, Kenya is yet to achieve the targets set by the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) that required countries to cut maternal mortality rates by three-quarters by 2015.
Speaking at the launch of a report on Kenya’s progress in reducing maternal and child deaths this week, the First Lady Margaret Kenyatta said that despite the milestones achieved across the world, there still remains too much disparity and inequity in access to health among women.
“There are still too many hurdles that some women must leap to access affordable care that is their right. And there is still death. One death, in giving life, will always be one death too many,” said the First Lady.
Mrs Kenyatta, who was accompanied Princess Zahra Aga Khan, said that the report provides the much needed data to help policymakers and stakeholders with a roadmap that will help provide answers to improve maternal and child health as well as achieve higher health targets.
The Kenya Countdown to 2015 Country Case Study: Understanding the Past to Impact the Future in Ending Preventable Maternal, Newborn and Child Deaths report was jointly conducted by the Aga Khan University and Ministry of Health.
With maternal deaths accounting for more than 14 per cent of all deaths to women in the reproductive ages between 15-19 years, experts have said there is need to invest more in maternal more on the health of mothers and children in the country.
“Kenya missed the MDG target but we are moving towards the right direction,” said Aga Khan University’s paediatric department chair William Macharia.
Prof Macharia said that the study should be a catalyst that sparks action and guides collaborative efforts to prevent “tragic and avoidable deaths of mothers and children.”
The report will now be published by The Lancet, a medical journal.