Department for International Development Kenya, Pete Vowles, has been visiting the Mount Elgon region to see first hand how funding from the UK has had a positive impact of the lives and welfare of local people.
In a period where the amount the UK spends on overseas aid is coming under increased scrutiny, with calls back home for it to be reduced significantly, his visit is a timely reminder of how important the funding is for communities across the developing world.
During the day, he visited the Jamii Thabiti project which is helping security services in Kenya to respond to crime, conflict and violence against women and girls.
Mr Vowles also spent time seeing first hand how the Maternal and Newborn Health Improvement (MANI) project is strengthening core health systems in Bungoma County and increasing the survival rate of mothers and newborns by helping local women access quality, affordable health services throughout the county.
In 2013, Kenya saw the introduction of free maternal care, which has led to an increased demand for maternal health services throughout the country – an important step towards Universal Health Coverage.
Mary explains how she uses her smart phone to collect data for pregnancy care, transforming her role as community health volunteer.. pic.twitter.com/FHBMuA3BtY
The recent devolution in Kenya has given the counties a new opportunity to make significant improvements in Maternal and Newborn Health (MNH).
Anthony explains how he uses his Boda Boda as an ambulance for pregnant mothers. he is available 24/7 so can get women to the clinic in time pic.twitter.com/g8yB6iH0n8
The MANI project, with support from the UK Department for International Development (DFID) and the County Health Management Team (CHMT) in Bungoma County, is currently working on a three-year programme focusing on three core areas:
1) Strengthening health systems to manage and deliver quality MNH services
2) Working at the community level to increase demand for services by mothers and newborns
3) Leading the County Innovation Challenge Fund (CICF) to provide funding to innovative projects, which offer local solutions to local problems in reducing maternal and newborn mortality.
Anne tells of her journey from being a traditional birth attendant to a 'birth companion' & how with new knowledge and skills she save lives pic.twitter.com/za53T0gWYG
The aim of the project is the strengthen management systems and increase the capacity of health workers to provide quality services to women and newborns and reduce maternal and neonatal mortality.