Infrastructural challenges to better health in maternity facilities in rural Kenya: community and healthworker perceptions
The efforts and commitments to accelerate progress towards the Millennium Development Goals for maternal and newborn health MDGs 4 and 5 in low and middle income countries have focused primarily on providing key medical interventions at maternity facilities to save the lives of women at the time of childbirth as well as their babies. However in most rural communities in sub-Saharan access to maternal and newborn care services is still limited and even where services are available they often lack the infrastructural prerequisites to function at the very basic level in providing essential routine health care services let alone emergency care. Lists of essential interventions for normal and complicated childbirth do not take into account these prerequisites thus the needs of most health facilities in rural communities are ignored although there is enough evidence that maternal and newborn deaths continue to remain unacceptably high in these areas.
to understand the challenges faced by health providers and service users in the provision and access of this care and their perceptions of key infrastructural barriers
This study uses data gathered through qualitative interviews in Kitonyoni and Mwania sub-locations of Makueni County in Eastern Kenya to understand community and provider perceptions of the obstacles faced in providing and accessing maternal and newborn care at health facilities in their localities.
The study finds that the community perceives various challenges most of which are infrastructural including lack of electricity water and poor roads that adversely impact the provision and access to essential life-saving maternal and newborn care services in the two sub-locations.
There is clear evidence that progress towards the fourth and fifth MDGs has been slow in most countries of sub-Saharan Africa. In some cases the progress has either stalled or is retrogressing as is the case of Kenya 2 23. Despite the recent spotlight on increasing urbanization majority of Kenyas population resides in rural areas and United Nations projections show that by 2025 a majority of the population 53 will still reside in rural Kenya 48 indicating the need to focus on improving the health of this segment of the population.rnrnThis study has shown that in rural communities where maternal and newborn deaths remain unacceptably high the lack of the nine signal functions are not the only challenges to the low-tier health facilities providing services in these communities. Prerequisites such as reliable electricity quality water and road networks appropriate transportation facilities and adequate qualified health personnel are equally essential for providing basic routine services which these facilities are designated to provide
Publication Information
Focus County(s):
Makueni County
Programme Area(s):
Sexual, Reproductive, Adolescent & Child Health
Research Priority Area(s):
Disease Domain(s):
maternal Health
Document History:
Publication Date: 01.Dec.2023
Conference Title: