Having rained all through the night, it is a fresh sunny morning in Homa Bay County by the shores of Lake Victoria. Businesses next to the Twin Towers Hotel where the CICF workshop is to be held come to life as the buzz gets louder, as the neighboring carpenter starts hammering away, the posho mills grumble to life and the mosque speaker calls out the faithful to the Morning Prayer.
Homa Bay is located in the former Nyanza Province, along the south shore of Lake Victoria’s Winam Gulf. The County constitutes 6 constituencies (Kasipul Kabondo, Karachuonyo, Rangwe, Ndhiwa, Mbita and Gwasi) and has a population of 963,794 (male - 48% and female - 52%) and an area of 3,183.3 km² with 80% of Kenya’s Lake Victoria being in this County. Homa Bay County has several healthcare facilities serving its residents. Notable hospitals include Homa Bay District Hospital and Mbita District Hospital as well as Karachuonyo, Rangwe and Ndhiwa sub-district hospitals.
Right at the heart of Homa Bay town is the Twin Towers Hotel where the CICF workshop is being held. The conference room is all set up to receive the first guests as they start arriving at 8.30am and sign the attendance log. The workshop starts at 9.30am with opening remarks from the Homa Bay County Minister of Health. Homa Bay is among CICF’s six selected counties where innovative ideas that will help reduce maternal and newborn mortality can be implemented. The County representatives giving opening remarks are:
- Dr. Lawrence Oteng' - Minister of Health, Homa Bay County
- Dr. Waringa Vincent - Deputy Director of Health, Homa Bay County
The workshop is a success as it receives 62 potential applicants to the County Innovation Challenge Fund considering only 32 had confirmed attendance. These include local community-based organisations; local and international NGOs; civil society organisations, faith-based organisations, research institutions, social enterprises, private sector organisations and innovation hubs. Questions and clarifications are plenty, which is an indication of the desire to access funds to improve maternal and newborn health in Homa Bay County.
The Fund Manager’s team visits Rangwe level 4 health Center and finds out the challenges faced by the nurses and the community health workers as they offer services to newborns as well as the mothers.
At the workshop, KPMG, the Fund Managers for CICF, explain the Fund requirements, the eligibility and selection criteria as well as the application process. The funding opportunities are in two categories; Innovation Competition and Scaling Competition.
Innovation Competition funding is provided to support small scale implementation and assess the feasibility of new ideas, products or processes, or the application of better solutions that meet new requirements, unarticulated needs, or existing market needs.
Scale-up Competition funding is provided to expand roll-out of successfully tested existing ideas, products, processes or improved solutions to achieve economies of scale and greater impact to quality of maternal and newborn health services delivery.