Friday, May 20, 2011

Bridging Clean Water and Maternal Health


Yesterday, on the Carbon for Water campaign trail, we met with Francis Odhiambo, the provincial public health officer of the Western Province in Kenya. He had a great impact in helping connect the dots between having safe drinking water, combating diseases and women having safe pregnancies and deliveries. Mr. Francis Odhiambo believed strongly that women suffer twice as much as men on health issues relating to water borne disease because of their daily activities and chores around the house and for their families. Women not only face the hardship of looking for nonexistent safe water, but they also have to trek miles to get stream water and firewood for boiling it. In his words during the interaction with the two Women Bloggers Deliver winners, Mr. Odhiambo explained that the LifeStraw public health intervention by Vestergaard Frandsen would go a long way in supporting the already stretched government health facilities in the Western Province.

A visit to Emusanda Health Centre, a health clinic built by Vestergaard Frandsen, brought to light many other concerns in relation to maternal health. In our interaction with James Okwiri, who has been living with HIV for the past 7 years, the clinic has saved many local residents from having to travel a long distance to the hospital in Kakamega. Not only do they find the treatments at the health center life-saving, they also consider the plan by Vestergaard Frandsen to build a maternity ward at Emusanda a much needed intervention.

The overarching issue on maternal and child mortality has had its effect on this community. Ms. Sinafu Mapesa, a woman living with HIV, explained the danger of home delivery and how a lack of access to skilled care has claimed the lives of many women. She experienced post-partum hemorrhage during one of her deliveries, but she was lucky to have her bleeding stop. Many other women were never that lucky. She stressed the importance of having a maternity ward in her community that can attend to pregnant women, most especially women living with HIV/AIDS. Ms. Brenda Opika who has an 11-year-old HIV positive child, shared her pain that she never got tested for HIV when she was pregnant. She said that she wished she had the information and knowledge to lower the risk of transmission of HIV by delivering through caesarian section. Not only was she excited that many women would now have the care and education she never received at a new maternity ward, she is ready to volunteer to assist pregnant women that might be living with HIV.


Only 44% of women in Kenya deliver with skilled birth attendants and the maternal mortality ratio is 560 deaths per 100,000 live births. The interactions and visitations with the authority on public health issues and people of Kakamega showed me the story behind these statistics. To attain the Millennium Development Goals 4 and 5, (Reducing Child Mortality Rates and Improving Maternal Health) especially with so many preventable cases, a much need maternity ward will be a round peg in a round hole for the people of Emusanda in Western Province Kenya.

"The provision of a 24 hours running maternity health centre would help pregnant women at Emusanda Community" – Pelista Chibole

2 comments:

blazing said...

this is great and am so proud of you.keep up the good work dearie

Lara said...

You are doing a great job...never let go of this passion.

My Passion, my focus, the change that I want to see in the world - is my propellent factor.

Label Cloud

Gender (72) Feminism (46) Interview Thursday (46) Gender Equality (38) Gender and Development (29) Cat lover (24) Poem (24) Cat Tuesday (22) Women's Human Rights (19) Cats World (16) 16 Days of Activism (11) Africa (11) Violence Against Women (8) Information Sharing (7) Music (7) Nigeria Development (7) Women and Leadership (7) Children Rights (6) Exprience (6) Leadership (6) Rest in Peace (6) Change and Development (5) Corruption (5) Day to Day Exprience (5) Events (5) Governance (5) MDGs (5) Peace and Security Fellowship for African Women (5) Relationship (5) Security and Development (5) Women (5) Call for Application (4) Change Maker (4) Dairy (4) Mistake (4) Navy abuse of Uzoma Okere (4) Nigeria in Focus (4) Relationship and Marriage (4) The Feminist Cats (4) BlogHer (3) Chicago July Trip (3) Children (3) Discrimination Against Women (3) Domestic Violence (3) Injustice (3) King;s College Fellowship (3) Lessons (3) Niger Delta Crisis (3) Online Community (3) Religion Matters (3) Travelling (3) Wedding (3) Women Activists (3) Women Empowerment (3) Women in Governance (3) Youth (3) democracy in Nigeria (3) 2009 Edition (2) A girl-Soldier (2) Activism (2) Annivesary (2) BlogHer Conference Scholarship (2) Bloggers for life (2) Democracy and its Struggle (2) Female writers (2) Forced Marriage (2) IAC09 (2) ICT4D (2) International Wome's Rights Day 2008 (2) Journey to London (2) LGBTI (2) Lack of respect for other people's perspectives. (2) Life from Cape Town in South Africa (2) Lovely Cats (2) Male Child Preference (2) Male Child and Domestic Chores (2) Memories (2) My Boss (2) My life in London (2) Nigerian Youth and Development (2) Nigerianstalk (2) No to VAW (2) Rape (2) Sexual Violence and GBV (2) Taking Peace and Security (2) Technology Camp for Girls (2) The Admired Female Bloggers (2) The Changemakers (2) The Future of Nigerian children (2) The Late Kudirat Abiola's Remembrance (2) The Martyr of Democracy (2) The girl child and her chanllenges (2) Untimely death (2) Uzoma Okere court hearing (2) V-Monologues (2) Violation of Human Rights (2) Women making a difference (2) 10 years remembrance for the O.A.U 5. (1) 1in 9 Campaign (1) 2010 self-surfacing resolutions (1) A Ride with my Father (1) A just world with God (1) ALF Program (1) AWID Forum 2008 (1) Activism Scholarship (1) Adaeze Experience (1) African Sexualities (1) Aspiring Filmmaker (1) Bad Leaders (1) Beating by a mad man (1) Becoming my Cats (1) CSDG (1) Career (1) Child Marriage (1) Children without education (1) Children without future (1) Climate Change (1) Conflicts (1) Corrpution and Hooliganism (1) Court System (1) DLTW for Young Female Doctors (1) Democracy Day (1) Divorce and Marriage (1) Dupe In Kenya (1) ECOSAP (1) Evangelist Taye Ajiboye (1) Extreme poverty (1) Female Circumcision (1) Female Film-Makers (1) Girls in Technology (1) Global Warming (1) Government (1) Hafsat Abiola and KIND (1) Human Behaviour and attitudes (1) I didn't do it for you by Michela Wrong (1) ICT and Women (1) Images from Mali (1) Incest (1) Indecent Dressing Bill (1) Info -Activism (1) Internattional Bloggers Community Award (1) Job Search (1) Journey across Africa (1) June 8 and Abacha’s death (1) Kenya July Trip (1) Knowing our continent (1) Lagos State Government (1) MOBILIZATION (1) Mali (1) Marriage (1) Michela Wrong book on Eritrea (1) Mother 6th Remembrance (1) Movement Building. AWID Forum 2008 (1) My first post from London (1) My health (1) NDQ Interview (1) Naija Blogger Awards 2009 (1) Natural Hair (1) Negative quotation on women (1) Newspaper review (1) Nigeria Media (1) Nigerian Sporting Activities (1) Nigerians and Abacha’s death (1) No light (1) No to FGM (1) Obama Prank (1) Outsanding Ore (1) PHCN and Nigeria Government (1) Passing though Ghana (1) Passing through Burkina Security and Development (1) Pastor Kehinde Ajiboye (1) Peace and Secuirty issues in the Horn (1) Police Force (1) Polygamist (1) Pregnancy and child bearing in marriage (1) Punishment of an elderly woman in Saudi (1) Rape Victim (1) Road and Bus Evangelism (1) Road trip to Mali (1) SOLIDARITY WTH WOMEN WHO SPEAK OUT (1) Self Defence for Women (1) Senseless killing by armed robbers (1) Serious Issues (1) Standtall Adevnture (1) Suicide bombing (1) Summit (1) Tactical Tech (1) Take Back the Tech (1) Tell Magazine (1) Terrorist Attack (1) The Uncoventional Clergy woman (1) The Bauchi Killings (1) The EU Summit Report (1) The Eritrea history (1) The July 10 Martyr (1) The Liberian Women peace building effort (1) The O.A.U 5 (1) The PM Tabloid (1) The danger of a single story (1) The late social Crusader (1) The meeting with London Bloggers (1) The rescued kitten (1) This Violence must stop (1) Tips to having a Happy Relationship (1) Traditional Role (1) Transforming Nigeria (1) Travelling through Africa by Road (1) Tribute to Chief Gani Fawehinmi (1) Tyranny (1) Umar Mutallab (1) Understanding Security (1) Uzoma's Justice (1) Verastically Vera (1) WORLD AIDS DAY (1) We need peace in our land (1) Women E-Campaigners` Training (1) Women In Technology. ICT4D (1) Wrong Culture and Belief (1) Yar'adua (1) Youth as agents of Change (1) meeting US bloggers (1) my love (1)