Over the years, maternal deaths were on the rise in Baringo county especially Tiaty sub county where it was leading in deaths as a result of lack of mothers delivering in hospital but due to concerted efforts by County government and other agencies , the deaths are slowly reducing. In access of hospital facilities being
Over the years, maternal deaths were on the rise in Baringo county especially Tiaty sub county where it was leading in deaths as a result of lack of mothers delivering in hospital but due to concerted efforts by County government and other agencies , the deaths are slowly reducing.
In access of hospital facilities being among the challenges facing hospital deliveries in the region illiteracy levels is also major contributors to the worrying trend that bore the idea of using wind up radios to instill knowledge to the locals about maternal health.
The radios that were provided by BBC media action and maternal health information recorded in local dialects are now impacting change among parents who have so far persuaded to deliver in hospitals and fundamentally breastfeed exclusively for the first six months.
Patrick Mulehi who is the broadcast mentor said in collaboration with nutritionists from the county’s health department they managed to record information where they would later set up listener groups in the villages to listen to the radio.
“Due to high illiteracy levels among the locals and to avoid language barrier we tried wind up radios that has voices of nutritionists inform of songs and drama to persuade the community to embrace hospitals and new ways of feeding newborns,” said Mulehi.
Despite deep rooted attitudes and beliefs in the communities, Mulehi appreciates that they have witnessed change among the communities where families are delivering in hospitals and taking good care of infants together as opposed to before where the mother was left to look after newborns.
” After sometime of testing the idea,knowledge levels on maternal health rose which indicated rise of mothers who are going to clinics during prenatal and post natal,”added Mulehi.
33 yearl old Alex Tumodor and a father of four revealed there has been great improvement on maternal health and there is great reduction in mortality rates in the region since the intervention was introduced two years ago.
“Unlike before where we would lose babies and even mothers due to ignorance the scenario is gradually changing as mothers not only deliver in hospitals but they bring up healthier babies,” said Tumodor.
Tumodor also added that fathers are now actively participating in bringing up children.
Ann Chewoche said mothers are armed with know how to feed their babies improving nutrition among the kids.
“My group which has 10 mothers are know the regular check ups after meeting in this tree every month to listen to this radio which has completely changed behavior towards maternal health. I am glad even my husband supports me during and after pregnancy ,” said Mrs. Ann.
In fact ,our kids don’t fall sick regularly after keenly following the nutritional tips by experts on the radio added the mother of five.
She also added women who haven’t gone to school teach others on nutrition.
Dr. Gideon Toromo ,Chief Officer in charge of health confirmed the reduction of child mortality and increase of number of mother delivering in hospitals rates through interventions done by partners to bring to zero maternal deaths.
” The maternal deaths are significantly declining through the interventions we are putting in place in conjunction with partners. Previously, we didn’t have community health workers but after employing 53 health workers in every village the the initiative is bearing fruits, “said Dr. Toromo.