The United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS)

Health matters: Tackling maternal mortality in Kenya

This article was published more than two years ago. Some information may no longer be accurate.

Access to health is a basic right, one that is central to a life of dignity. Yet social and economic inequities exclude too many people from enjoying good health. Women and girls, remain a highly vulnerable group and maternal health is still one of the biggest concerns worldwide.

As countries unite to reduce maternal mortality, under Global Goal 3, we must keep the stories and experiences of people who live through the challenges of healthcare alive and use them as the backbone of our work. We need to ask … what does life look like when healthcare is not a given; when accessing it is a challenge? What does it feel like when lives hang-in-the-balance as people struggle to find the services they need? 

In a three-part series, we explore the trials, triumphs and hopes of a community that live in Turkana, one of Kenya’s poorest counties. Join our journey.

  • 1. The long walk

    1. The long walk

    Accessing maternal healthcare in Turkana, Kenya.

  • 2. To help more mothers and their babies

    2. To help more mothers and their babies

    What's it like to be a health volunteer in Turkana, Kenya?

  • 3. Inside a Kenya maternity ward

    3. Inside a Kenya maternity ward

    Expectant mothers travel up to 500 kilometers to reach this place.

  • Still vulnerable

    Each day, over 800 women around the world lose their lives to preventable complications from pregnancy and childbirth. 

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  • The healthcare divide

    99 percent of all maternal deaths occur in developping countries, or 239 per 100,000 live births (2015). Further still, more than half these deaths take place in Sub-Saharan Africa.

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  • Did you know?

    The probability that a 15-year-old girl will die from a maternal-related cause is 1 in 4900 in developed countries, versus 1 in 180 in developing countries.

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