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First baby delivered at new maternity unit in Baringo

There was great excitement when Baby Boni arrived safely into the world this month! Named in honour of our Country Manager in Kenya, he is the first baby to be born at Chesirimion Clinic’s new maternity unit in Baringo. He is the first of many. 4 boys and 2 girls have already been safely delivered in the first 2 weeks of operations alone.

With support from the Khan Foundation, So They Can has completed major infrastructure work at the remote clinic for access to quality health care, especially maternal and newborn services. Works started in November last year, and following completion, were handed over to the clinic’s management and So They Can in mid-April 2024 including the following:

  • 10-bed maternity unit, with an examination room, delivery room, nurses’ station, laundry, kitchen and bathrooms and toilets. 
  • Toilet block with a septic tank and soak pit to serve outpatients.
  • Borehole with a solar-powered pump to provide a reliable source of water for the clinic; water points have also been installed outside of the secured fenced off borehole area to serve the surrounding community.
  • Perimeter fence for security.
  • Fittings and equipment for the new maternity clinic, as well as for the laboratory and pharmacy.

150 babies a year are expected to be safely delivered at the new maternity unit in the first year of operations, significantly increasing the number of safe births in the surrounding communities. The maternal mortality rate in Baringo is 488 deaths per 100,000 births, higher than the national rate of 374.

For Boni’s mother, 21 year-old Cheptoo, she was relieved to have access to the new facility. Mum and baby are in great health, there were no complications during the delivery. Chesirimion is her closest medical facility, approximately 17 kilometres from her house and she was accessing antenatal services there. When she gave birth to her first child in 2022, she had to walk all the way to Chemolingot Hospital, covering a distance of almost 30 km. As is the standard in Kenya, the facility registered the birth via a birth notification, which will enable Cheptoo to apply for Boni’s birth certificate.

So They Can is confident that the heightened awareness of the new maternity unit is due to our enhancement of Community Health Promoters (CHPs), who are tasked with sensitisation of the community, especially women, on the importance of giving birth in the safe and supportive environment of the medical centre, rather than giving birth at home which exposes the mother and child to many preventable health risks. So They Can train and engage an active cadre of CHPs read more here.

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