Dr. Ariel Pablos-Méndez Hands Over USAID Maternal and Child Health Commodities to Kenya

Ksh 129 million in equipment to help end preventable deaths at childbirth

The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Assistant Administrator for Global Health Dr. Ariel Pablos-Méndez handed over Ksh129 million in maternal and child health commodities to Kenya’s Cabinet Secretary, Ministry of Health, James Macharia on March 17.  Prior to the handover ceremony, Dr. Pablos-Méndez toured the Maai Mahiu primary health care facility in Longonot village.  Maai Mahiu provides outpatient services and basic emergency obstetric care.

The items handed over by Dr. Pablos-Méndez have been distributed to 6,500 health facilities across Kenya.  The delivery kits, fetoscopes, newborn ambubags, and room heaters/warmers received by the Naivasha maternity facility are representative of the commodities provided in all 47 counties.

Dr. Pablos-Méndez announced USAID’s commitment to ending preventable child and maternal deaths in a generation.

“USAID has identified 24 priority countries, including Kenya, in which it will provide financial assistance focusing primarily on supporting national governments to promote women’s informed choice in the use of family planning and maternity care, improve access to and utilization of quality maternal and newborn care services and to strengthen health systems,” he said.

Cabinet Secretary Macharia joined Dr. Pablos-Méndez on a tour of the Naivasha County Hospital, which offers both outpatient and in-patient care including comprehensive emergency obstetric care.  USAID supports these facilities through the integrated service delivery activity called APHIAplus Rift Valley, which is implemented in partnership with FHI360.

“This support from USAID is very timely. It comes at a time when the Government of Kenya is implementing free maternal care,” said Macharia. “With this intervention we have seen a drop in child mortality by 16%, about 16,000 lives saved nationally.”

In 2013, USAID invested $40 million in family planning, maternal, newborn and child health, and nutrition services in Kenya. These resources have been used to procure medical equipment, contraceptive commodities and vaccines, train health workers, enhance the quality, supervision and monitoring of health services and support community health programs.