DFID’s MNH programme through UNICEF in Kakamega and Homa Bay models implementation through establishment of MNH Centres of Excellence.
- At the county and sub-county levels, UNICEF activities include evidence based planning and budgeting; Human Resources for Health; Improving county partnerships and coordination for MNH; Institutionalizing MPDSR; strengthening accountability mechanisms (RMNCAH scorecards and social accountability); and innovations for addressing health financing including demand-side financing such as performance-based financing.
- At the service delivery level, UNICEF is working with the county governments to ensure facilities consistently provide all signal functions of BEmONC or, in a few cases, CEmONC; implement evidence based MNH High Impact Interventions e.g. Kangaroo Mother Care, Chlorhexidine for cord care, Uterine Balloon Tamponade, Kenya Quality Model of Health. Addressing quality gaps through trainings, infrastructure upgrades and procurement of essential equipment and supplies; support to conduct regular maternal and perinatal death reviews and reporting on DHIS with appropriate response mechanisms established; integrating MNCH services as a ‘one stop shop’; establishing and strengthening management committees,; ensuring provision of respectful maternity care; improving referral mechanisms between lower- and higher-level facilities thorough improved communications systems, participation of the community, and social accountability mechanisms.
- To generate demand, UNICEF supports community dialogue, involvement in planning and implementation of MNH activities; training of Community Health Volunteers on Community MNH, including support for referrals; roll-out of Verbal Autopsy; and Social accountability and community participation, including Community Scorecards and client satisfaction surveys. UNICEF also leverages its technical expertise in other child-related fields to address factors contributing to maternal and newborn mortality outside of healthcare, such as WASH (Green energy technology to ensure safe water and improved sanitation); Nutrition (Optimal maternal nutrition at MCH, Integration of Nutrition at MCH, BFHI in the targeted health facilities (BF/IYCF) and community nutrition HII); Child Protection (FGM, Early marriages, GBV (sexual), birth registration); HIV/AIDS (integrating eMTCT in MNH); and Communication for Development (healthy behaviors and practices)
Despite the investments made to date and current MNH activities, there are opportunities for improving MNH outcomes related to the following priority gaps: