As we approach the 2015 deadline for achievement of the Millennium Development Goals, it is clear that Kenya will not meet its target of reducing maternal mortality by 75 percent since 1990. In fact, maternal mortality has only been reduced by one half of one percent for each of the last 20 years. Statistics alone do not sufficiently demonstrate the devastating impact on families and society caused by the preventable deaths of 7,000 Kenyan mothers each year.
In partnership with civil society, Kenya’s government is stepping up efforts to save mothers’ lives and improve childbirth safety throughout the country. From free maternal health services to increased access to sexual and reproductive health education and contraception, there have been extensive investments in maternal health. Despite these efforts, many challenges and questions remain. Pulitzer Center Fellows Paul Nevin and Adiba Khan spent two months in Kenya documenting the dangers of childbirth and the efforts to save mothers’ lives.