Staffed by four full time Kenyan nurses, we are currently teaching 59 groups of women from 20 communities.
In Kenya, 12 out of every 100 children dies before celebrating his or her fifth birthday, and in the rural areas without access to medical care, the mortality is much higher than that.
The majority of these deaths occur within the first 28 days of life. Home deliveries are the norm in the rural areas. Skilled birth attendants are not available, and the women in these rural communities don’t know the danger signs to watch for during the newborn period. This means that many deaths occur that could be prevented by basic education within the communities.
Teaching women in rural communities basic skills in newborn care can dramatically increase neonatal survival. For example, skin to skin contact with baby and mother (or father) can do a better job of preventing cold stress for the newborn than being wrapped in the clothes often available. Knowledge of the danger signs in neonates can facilitate getting sick infants to better care.
The Newborn Community Health Project at Kijabe Hospital, a mission hospital a one hour drive outside Nairobi, is staffed by four full time Kenyan nurses who are currently teaching 59 groups of women from 20 communities. These rural women are empowered to share their knowledge and experiences with neighbors, friends and relatives in their own communities to prevent unnecessary newborn deaths. The project is in need of funding support nurse educator salaries and transportation costs to train woman in their local communities. Mary is working as the project director.