Speech

High Commissioner Dr Christian Turner hosts a reception for Amref Board members

This speech was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

The UK Government has a strong commitment to partnership with Kenya for various programmes in the health sector

Ladies and Gentlemen, am delighted to welcome you all this evening to celebrate the work of AMREF

Kenya has one of the highest rates of maternal mortality in the world, at 488 per 100,000 live births. A woman in Kenya dies every 2 hours while giving birth. High maternal and neonatal death rates are primarily due to poor access to quality delivery and emergency obstetric and neonatal care and low use of available services. Over half of women give birth at home without skilled care. Only one in three health facilities provide maternity services and one in ten hospitals provide basic emergency obstetric care.

The Kenyan Government have made maternal health a priority, abolishing user fees in primary health facilities and providing free maternal care in all public health facilities.

The UK has been supporting these efforts to tackle maternal and newborn deaths for some years in Kenya.

  • By improving the supply of maternal and child health services through building clinics, supplying equipment, training midwives and working with government staff to improve the management and supervision of services.

  • And addressing the demand for these services by raising community awareness, improving referral mechanisms with motorbike ambulances and creating new roles for retired midwives and traditional birth attendants

  • Has funded a study in Kenya since 2010 to look at the costs of maternal death. The study has just concluded and will be launched next week. Titled ‘A Price Too High to Bear,’ it shows us the terrible shockwave of loss and pain that each maternal death causes for families and communities. Conducted during 2012 and 2013 by Family Care International (FCI), the International Center for Research on Women (ICRW), and the KEMRI-CDC Research and Public Health Collaboration, the report documents the financial costs of maternal mortality to poor households in rural Kenya, and the impact of a maternal death on the well-being of surviving children, families, and communities.

  • DFID has a strong commitment to partnership with Kenya on malaria, reproductive health, HIV/Aids and health system. As such, there is increased access of poor people to quality health services, skilled birth attendants, access to modern family planning methods and increased use of bed nets

AMREF’S Stand Up for African Mothers campaign’ touches on an issue that holds great importance to the UK Government, preventing the unnecessary deaths of women in Africa during pregnancy and childbirth.

I urge you all to support AMREF’s campaign to help them reach their target of one million signatures and goal of getting a midwife nominated for a Nobel peace prize.

Hope that you enjoy your evening

Photos of the evening on Flickr