- 11th April marks the International Day for Maternal Health and Rights globally
- Maternal health advocates, researchers, and providers are committed to ending human rights abuses and promoting skilled and dignified care.
11th April 11, 2018……. Together we can make comprehensive, respectful, and rights-based maternal health care available to all. This was the message from different stakeholders and other organizations as they gathered to celebrate the International Day for Maternal health and Rights in Homabay County. The organizations are urging governments, policy makers and all stakeholders to make comprehensive, respectful, and rights-based maternal health care available to women and girls of reproductive age.
In Kenya, approximately 22 women die daily from complications of pregnancy and childbirth. Homabay County is among the top counties in maternal mortality with estimated 583 per 100,000 live, this is way high compared to the country’s’ 362 per 100,000 live births(Kenya Demographic Health Survey 14/15)
“The statistics from Homabay County are saddening, women and girls are dying daily. Our county is among those leading in teenage pregnancy as well. This must end, and it starts today. I commit on behalf of the leadership of this county to be in the forefront in pushing this forward’’ said Gladys Wanga, Homabay County Women Representative in Homabay at the International Day for Maternal Health and rights celebrations.
White Ribbon Alliance, Open Society in East Africa, AMREF, Christian Aid, the Girl Generation, Centre for Reproductive Rights , KMET ,Jacaranda Health among other partners are calling upon women and girls to voice their self-articulated needs and demand accountability from their governments for women and girls health care, and to advocate for increased access to health information and services.
“ The care women and girls receive is often inadequate: poor quality is common across counties, with the most vulnerable women and girls faring the worst. We have seen women in this country giving birth on the floor, we have seen women walking for kilometers to access a health facility, we have experienced long health worker strikes, we have seen women giving birth in the hands of traditional attendants, we have seen women die on the roads because they could not reach the health facility due to insecurity or poor roads- this is what we are raising our voices against” said Angela Nguku, Founder and Executive Director, White Ribbon Alliance
Supporting maternal health and rights not only empowers women but their children and communities too. The International Day for Maternal Health and rights comes at a time when local and international organizations have come together to push for quality, equity and dignity of women and girls via a campaign dabbed #WhatWomenWant.
The campaign seeks to amplify the voices of women and girls in defining what quality healthcare means to them and ultimately help the government, health workers, private sector, women and civil society groups better understand what is important to women and girls and offer solutions that are tailored to their needs.