Expectant mothers in Murang’a county are poised to receive a Sh4,000 Pregnancy Stipend, the county government has announced.
Murang’a Governor Irungu Kang’ata launched the programme at Kirwara health centre in Gatanga Sub-County on Monday, March 27.
He said the Pregnancy stipend is aimed at incentivizing expectant mothers to ensure they attend ante-natal clinics and deliver in the hands of medics.
The governor noted that about 30 percent of expectant mothers have been delivering at home, endangering their lives and those of their babies.
Governor Kang’ata said the high number of home deliveries informed the implementation of the incentive programme as some women fail to travel to hospitals due to lack of fare.
According to the governor, this in turn results in a high infant and maternal mortality rate as the majority of the midwives who help them give birth in the villages are untrained.
Governor Kang’ata at the same time refuted claims that the programme is aimed at encouraging women to give birth saying his interest is to reduce infant and maternal mortality rates.
Each expectant mother will receive Sh1,000 during the seventh month of her pregnancy, another Sh1,000 for the eighth month and Sh2,000 to help them travel to a health facility for delivery.
The programme will be implemented through an app, through which expectant mothers can register.
Dr. Samuel Kinyanjui, one of the consultants who have been contracted by the county to help boost maternal health care, said Community Health Volunters (CHVs) will have the app installed in their mobile phones and will be registering expectant mothers as early in the pregnancy as possible.
The CHVs will also be ensuring beneficiaries attend antenatal clinic. Once a mother misses her antenatal clinic, she will receive a reminder on her mobile phone and the local CHV will also receive a notification to check up on her.
The same technology will be installed in health facilities for use by medics attending to expectant mothers and the data will be centrally managed by the county government.
This will make it possible for an expectant mother to attend any health facility in Murang’a county as her information will be available on the system.
“This same technology will later be used to provide post-natal care that is vital for both the mother and the child. A mother needs to return to the health facility after two weeks for a checkup and for medics to assess the growth of the baby,” added Dr Kinyanjui.