International Rescue Committee

County: Turkana – Loima and Turkana West sub-counties

Project Title: Pambazuka project

Pambazuka is Swahili for ‘a new dawn’, and that is exactly whay mothers and newborns in Turkana County need.The county has the third-highest maternal mortality ratio (MMR) in the country and low levels of MNH service provision by skilled personnel. There is also a great disparity in health outcomes across Turkana’s seven sub counties. This project will target two Turkana sub counties - Loima and Turkana West, which have a paltry 12.7% and 11.7% delivery by a skilled provider respectively.

The Pambazuka project will contribute to the reduction of maternal and newborn mortality by strengthening existing facilities through capacity building and by upgrading and equipping health facilities, training staff on MNH competencies, improving staff coverage and increasing ambulance coverage.

Due to the long distances that pregnant women must travel and the unavailability of transport, the project will introduce Maternity Waiting Homes (MWHs) in two locations that do not have a health facilty close by. The MWHs will be used by mothers close to their expected date of delivery, especially those diagnosed with high risk pregnancy. The facilities will be managed by a well trained community health worker, supervised by a community health extension worker with midwifery skills. The MWHs will provide a referral system for mothers going into labor and provision of living necessities such as solar lighting, water,  cooking and hand washing facilities. The community will provide security services.

The goal of the project is to increase access to and utilisation of quality MNH services, specifically, to increase skilled care during delivery, utilisation of four or more ANC visits, and a post-natal care visit from a trained health care worker for babies within two days of their birth.

International Rescue Committee (IRC) will implement the project in collaboration with Turkana County health management team and the host community.