Governors have retaliated their commitment to work with development partners so as to speed up health sector transformation in the counties.
Council of Governors (COG) Chair Anne Waiguru said the partnership will help in strengthening health service delivery in counties.
Speaking during the announcement of the M-Mama program in Kenya, Waiguru said that counties have made investments across all important pillars of health system among them building a strong health workforce, ensuring increased access to essential medicine, increased financial investment to health sector among others.
Waiguru said the M-Mama initiative will ensure that no mother dies while giving birth.
The M-mama program is a public-private partnership between the Government of Kenya, the U.S Government through the Agency for International Development (USAID), Vodafone and Mpesa Foundation. It is an emergency referral system that swiftly transports pregnant women and newborns facing complications to appropriate healthcare facilities.
Waiguru said that over the past 10 years, County Governments have worked closely with other stakeholders to ensure all Kenyans have access to high quality and affordable preventive, curative and rehabilitative health services.
She added that the M-Mama initiative was a welcome addition to partnerships that are at the forefront of maternal and child health initiatives in Kenya.
“As you all know, provision of emergency care during critical times of pregnancy is important not only for the survival of mothers, but also for newborns. The M-mama initiative is aimed at enhancing maternal and newborn health through a digital, innovative, real-time referral system to address emergency transport challenges for pregnant women,” said Waiguru.
Waiguru stressed that County Governments remain fully committed to fulfilling the requirements of the Constitution that guarantee all citizens the right to affordable and accessible quality healthcare.
“The M-mama initiative will augment the efforts by County Governments in strengthening the referral system. We are all aware that for many maternal and newborn complications, there is a very short time window for emergency response before death. Therefore, M-mama is another step in ensuring that our women have access to the highest attainable health services as articulated by our constitution,” added Waiguru.
Cabinet Secretary for Health Susan Nakhumicha said that ensuring safe pregnancy, delivery and post-delivery period was key to the attainment of Universal Health Coverage (UHC) which is a key agenda for the Kenya Kwanza Government.
“I note that M-mama is aligned to Kenya’s Development and Health Agenda and will provide an opportunity to strengthen Primary Healthcare and Digitization of the health sector by use of a digital platform,” said Nakhumicha.
She further said that the government was upbeat that this initiative will certainly contribute to saving lives of mothers and newborns. She added that the government would ensure that no individual was left behind in pursuit of UHC due to financial constraints or geographical barriers.
“By pooling our resources, streamlining our efforts, and implementing effective strategies, we can provide comprehensive healthcare to every corner of our great nations,” added Nakhumicha.
The health CS further said that M-mama will certainly catalyze health sector collaborations and partnerships for safe motherhood thereby accelerating achievement of many of maternal and perinatal targets and that the government would fully support the partnership with unwavering commitment and determination.
She directed officers in the ministry of health and county governments to design a robust and responsive emergency transport system for the clientele.
“No mother and child deserve to die and we must do our onerous duty to deliver quality and holistic maternal and neonatal services,” said the CS.