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The Kenya Forum | Absenteeism contributing to maternal deaths in Kenya - Report - The Kenya Forum

April 2, 2024

Summary

Seven out of 10 women die at night, on weekends and public holidays.

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Absenteeism contributing to maternal deaths in Kenya – Report

Absenteeism contributing to maternal deaths in Kenya – Report

Maternals deaths ion the rise in Kenya

Absenteeism, negligence and inadequate healthcare worker skills during night shifts and holidays is contributing to the soaring cases on maternal deaths in Kenya, according to a new report by the Ministry of Health.

The report by the Ministry of Health (MoH) and Amref Health Africa records that seven out of 10 women die at night, on weekends and on public holidays.

This devastating reality, the report says,  translates to an estimated 5,000 maternal deaths annually, with 60-70 per cent of the deaths occurring in referral hospitals and 65 per cent happening after 28 weeks of gestation.

“Fifty per cent of expectant mothers in the country die of haemorrhage, 20 per cent die of pre/eclampsia and 11 per cent die of sepsis. Seven out of 10 women die at night, on weekends and on public holidays,” the report highlights.

Postpartum haemorrhage, which is blood loss of at least 500ml within 24 hours after birth. It affects about five per cent of all women giving birth in the world, according to the United Nations Fund for Population Activities.

Maternal deaths in the  counties 

Tana River, Garissa, West Pokot, Elgeyo Marakwet, Machakos, Homa Bay, Siaya, Wajir, Kilifi, Murang’a, Makueni, Migori and Turkana recorded the highest number of maternal deaths in the country.

Amref Recommendations for Curbing Maternal Deaths in Kenya

Amref recommends key among other things for the government to increase the number of gynaecologist consultants in all target counties. It also proposes the deployment of a range of medication they described as a ‘combi pack’, which includes heat-stable carbetocin, oxytocin, tranexamic acid, misoprostol, magnesium sulfate, calcium gluconate fluids and cannulas, obstetric drape, among others, for management of obstetric emergencies in all target counties.

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