Bharti Airtel has partnered with Fountain Africa Trust to launch a community midwives program to support expectant women, new mothers and newborns in Bungoma County, Kenya.
The programme that will be launched early next month will also offer free calling and SMS service to 57 midwives and staff from Fountain Africa Trust, that will enable sharing of information and learning experiences between Bungoma County mothers, themselves and the County ministry of health officials as they go on with their program of supporting expectant women, new mothers and newborns.
Airtel will also offer 24 hour free internet connectivity for the Fountain Africa Trust, giving them unlimited access to online information that will help them carry out their program effectively and interact with other midwives across the globe.
In a statement, Airtel Kenya CEO Adil El Youssefi said that the company is helping the government attain its Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) 4 and 5 by enabling the midwives to communicate effectively, for free especially when they are faced with emergencies. “Airtel recognizes the need for good health and general wellbeing of expectant women and infants. This program will help reduce risks of child and maternal mortality by ensuring women receive the right level of care when giving birth.” added Mr. El Youssefi.
Fountain Africa Trust CEO Alice Natecho said, “Fountain Africa Trust appreciates the support provided by Airtel Kenya since the communication platform provided by Airtel will go a long way in making skilled assistance accessible to mothers in the County.”
Natecho noted that despite significant improvements in maternal and newborn care services in Bungoma County, according to the recent results from the Kenya Demographic and Health Survey 2014, the proportion of deliveries conducted by a skilled provider in the county is 41.4% while the proportion of women who delivered in health facilities is 40.8%.
She said that the group is also working closely with the County and sub-County Ministry of Health teams to support community midwives to improve the provision of services such as prenatal care, delivery, postnatal care, family planning as well as referral services among other key roles played by community midwives.