Maternal and Neonatal Health

Maternal and Neonatal Health

The main causes of high children mortality rate in Kenya include: HIV/AIDS (29.3%), prenatal conditions (9.0%), lower respiratory infections (8.1%), Tuberculosis (TB) (6.3%), diarrhea (6.0%) and malaria at (5.8%) among others.

Maternal deaths remain a major challenge in rural villages in Kenya. One half of mothers are anemic with an uptake of recommended iron supplements during pregnancy below 3 per cent. The use of skilled birth attendance at delivery stands at 46 per cent.

Maternal mortality in rural areas is significantly high compared to urban areas. The dominant poor pregnancy outcome in the rural communities is due to lack of adequate knowledge on pregnancy complications, delay in patient presentation, and delay in treatment of the obstetric emergencies that can be easily treated even if they may not always be preventable.

Malaria also remains a health and socio-economic burden and accounts for 30 per cent of outpatient consultations, 19 per cent of hospital admissions and 3–5 per cent of inpatient deaths.

Child malnutrition remains rampant with stunting levels standing at 30 per cent of children under the age of five due to long-term under-nutrition. About 40,000 children die annually due to being underweight and vitamin A deficiency especially with populations in the chronically food-insecure arid and semi-arid districts being most affected.

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