Mpeketoni and King Fahad hospitals in Lamu County have benefited from a Kshs.18.8 million Safaricom Foundation funded health project. The initiatives are part of the foundation’s maternal and child health programme whose aim is to increase access and uptake of quality health services for mothers and newborns.
As part of the project, the foundation will renovate and equip the high dependency and newborn unit at King Fahad County referral hospital. The foundation has also constructed and equiped a maternal and child health unit at Mpeketoni hospital.
“These investments are part of our commitment to reduce maternal and infant mortality in this county. We have an ongoing programme aimed at strengthening the health system to ensure expectant women and infants have access to quality healthcare,” said Joseph Ogutu, Chairman, Safaricom Foundation. The hospitals were furnished with equipment such as oxygen machines, baby scales, phototherapy machines, baby warmers and other medical equipment to increase access to quality healthcare.
Additionally, Safaricom Foundation will be funding provision of nutritional supplements for at least 6,000 mothers annually in Lamu County to aid in proper growth and formation of unborn babies. “We are also providing nutrition and other pregnancy related information to mothers in this county through text messages in addition to supporting community health workers with phones and airtime,” Ogutu said.
The foundation also announced plans to distribute sanitary towels to at least 25,000 girls aged ten to nineteen years in two counties including Lamu. Safaricom Foundation’s maternal health programme was launched last year and so far, counties in the Coast and Rift Valley regions have benefited from it. Under the programme the foundation has set aside Kshs. 132 million to promote maternal, newborn and child health services around the country. In Lamu, a maternal shelter in Witu and a newborn unit in Faza Island were constructed and equipped and are currently serving over 2,000 people. In Mombasa County, the newborn and maternity units at the Coast General Teaching and Referral Hospital has been renovated and equipped.