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Improving Maternal, Newborn and Child health is a key global agenda and is a priority for the Government of Kenya as is reflected in its Vision 2030, the Constitution of Kenya 2010 and the Health Sector Strategic and Investment Plan 2014-18. The maternal mortality ratio remains high at 362, a decrease from 488 deaths per 100,000 live births, according to the Kenya Demographic and Health Survey of 2014 and 2008/2009. This national MMR estimate however, obscures the disparities at county level.
UNFPA in conjunction with University of Nairobi, Population Studies and Research Institute (PSRI) carried out a rapid situational analysis based on 2009 Population and Housing Census on the burden of maternal mortality and its distribution. This analysis showed MMR values ranging from 187 maternal deaths per 100,000 live births in Elgeyo Marakwet County to 3,795/100,000 live births in Mandera County. The study ranked all the 47 counties based on their estimated maternal mortality ratio (MMR) and 15 Counties were noted to contribute about 98% of maternal deaths. The 10 highest MMR burden counties are Mandera, Wajir, Turkana, Marsabit, Isiolo, Siaya, Lamu, Migori, Garissa and Taita Taveta.
Kenya was a recipient of the RMNCH Trust Fund grant of US$ 14.9 million in support of prioritized activities to address bottlenecks and gaps on reducing preventable maternal and newborn deaths in the six high maternal mortality burden counties of Mandera, Wajir, Marsabit, Isiolo, Lamu and Migori. The funding was channeled through UNFPA, UNICEF and WHO and the activities were implemented between July 2015 and December 2016 by the County Departments of Health, Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine (LSTM), National Council for Population and Development (NCPD), the Kenya Red Cross (KRCS) and Amref Health Africa.
In March 2016, six UN agencies (UNFPA, WHO, UN Women, UNICEF, UNAIDS and World Bank) organized themselves in a UN H6 partnership to operationalize and intensify efforts to implement the UN Secretary General’s Global Strategy for Women’s and Children’s Health. As the funding from the RMNCH Trust Fund ended in 2016, the UN H6 agencies joined forces and secured funding from the Embassy of Denmark (Danida) to implement a second phase of the UN Joint Programme on RMNCAH (2017-2020). Leveraging on successes from the first phase, the UN H6 partners in the current second phase continued to support the reduction of maternal and newborn mortality in the six high burdened counties in Kenya.
Joint Programme RMNCAH Objectives