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Project December 15, 2022

'No One Should Die Giving Life': How Kenyans Are Making Childbirth Safer

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Jackline Jepchumba visits Kapsabet district hospital with her firstborn baby. Jepchumba is grateful that Kenya's universal health coverage program 'Linda Mama' covered the doctor's visits for the first three months after the baby was born, but wishes the coverage lasted longer. Image by Anna Gordon. Kenya, 2022.

Data analyzed by the UNFPA shows that when a mother in parts of rural Kenya dies giving birth, her newborn child is 25 times more likely to die during the first week of life.

Maternal death can wreak havoc on a family. In addition to the emotional toll the loss takes, older siblings could be forced to drop out of school to provide childcare. Many families can be forced into poverty, especially if the mother was a primary wage earner.

But there is hope. This project seeks to explore interventions that have been successful in reducing maternal death in Kenya. The first story in this project, written in collaboration with Al Jazeera, focuses on Nandi County, a rural region of Kenya that has seen significant improvement over the last decade, and especially the last five years. Many of the interventions used in Nandi are low cost and could be implemented in other rural communities throughout the region.

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