Mercy Owuor Ochieng’ has won the hearts of many and bagged a number of accolades due to her efforts to reduce cases of infant mortality in Migori and Homa Bay counties.
Through her initiative dubbed “thrive through five” she has been able to sensitize parents on proper maternal healthcare.
Migori and Homa-bay counties are among regions that have been proven to be harsh for the survival of children below the age of 5.
This is according to a research by Kenya Medical Research Institute (Kemri).
The study undertaken since 1965, shows that children in Western Kenya die in their formative years because the region is characterized by high HIV prevalence and intense malaria transmission.
37 year old Mercy is however out to change this narrative. She runs a program within Lwala health facility in Migori County dubbed ‘Thrive Through Five ‘ with the main aim of providing community outreach efforts to reduce child mortality.
Her initiative has also helped reduce mortality of children under five years by 64% with skilled deliveries said to be at 97% up from 26%.
Her main challenge however has been involving men in the program since most of them have been taking a back seat on matters reproductive health.
Building a cordial working relationship between traditional birth attendants and modern health experts has also proved challenging for Mercy.