A system approach to improving maternal and child health care delivery in Kenyan communities and primary care facilities: baseline survey on maternal health
Background: Maternal, fetal and neonatal mortality are 10 to 100 fold higher in many low-income compared to high-income countries. Reasons for these discrepancies include limited antenatal care and delivery outside health facilities.
Objectives: The study aimed at conducting a baseline survey to assess the current levels of maternal health indicators in six counties in Western Kenya.
Methods: This was a cross sectional study conducted targeting women residing in Uasin-Gishu, ElgeyoMarakwet, TransNzoia, Bungoma, Busia and Kakamega counties who had given birth five years prior to the interview. Socio-demographic and maternal indicators were collected using forms adopted from KDHS 2009. Interviews were conducted in the homesteads between December 2015 and June 2016.
Results: A total of 6257 women participated in the study, median age 27 years IQR 23-32. Majority of the women had post-primary level of education, were married and 40% were members of an income-generating activity. 56.8% were using modern family planning method, 49% attended WHO recommended four plus antenatal clinic visits and only 20% attended in the first trimester. Majority, 85% had their most recent delivery in a health facility.
Conclusion: Findings suggest that women are not attending recommended four plus antenatal clinic visits and even those that attend are few are during the first trimester.
Keywords: System approach, maternal and child health care, Kenyan communities.