Reduce child mortality

Where we are?

To accelerate the achievement of MDG 4, the Government launched a Child Survival and development Strategy that is budgeted in 2009 as an effort to accelerate child survival and provide a framework to improve indicators for children. The strategy is guided by the National Health Sector Strategic Plan II (NHSSP II) and the Vision 2030 Medium Term Plan that aim to reduce inequalities in the health care services and improve on the child health indicators.

In addition, the Ministry of Public and Sanitation has prioritized malaria control through the National Health Sector Strategic Plan (NHSSPII) and mandated the Division of Malaria Control (DOMC) to coordinate the implementation of the National Malaria Strategy. In collaboration with partners, the government has also developed the 8-year Kenyan National Malaria Strategy (KNMS) 2009-2017 which was launched on 4th November 2009.

The National Malaria Strategy covering the period 2009–2017 has been developed in line with the Government's first Medium-Term Plan of the Kenya Vision 2030, Millennium Development Goals, as well as Roll Back Malaria partnership goals and targets for malaria control. The National Malaria Strategy is based on and carries forward an inclusive partnership between the Ministries of Public Health and Sanitation and Medical Services, other line Ministries of the Government of Kenya, development partners and all implementing agencies in malaria control.

The Malezi Bora Strategy initiated in 2007 has provided a comprehensive package of services that includes child immunization, Vitamin A supplementation, de-worming of under fives and pregnant women, treatment of childhood illnesses, HIV Counseling & Testing, ITNs use in Malaria prevention and improved ANC & FP Services. Malezi Bora provides an opportunity to provide children with a comprehensive and integrated package of services.

Other Government efforts towards reduction in child mortality and in line with attainment of the MDG target are Integrated Management of Childhood Illnesses which includes immunization, one of the most effective primary health interventions in reducing child mortality. Under this, the Ministry of Health continues to strengthen immunization activities throughout the country under the Kenya Expanded Programme on Immunization (KEPI) as well as management of childhood illnesses.

Progress made

Existing data reveals that in the 1990s, infant and childhood mortality declined rapidly in Kenya as a result of various global initiatives to improve child health. After many years of declining health indicators, recent data is showing an improvement in the mortality indicators for Kenyan children. The Kenya Demographic Health Survey (KDHS) 2008/09 shows that compared to the 2003 KDHS, the Infant Mortality Rate (IMR) improved to 52 from 77 per 1000 live births and the Under Five Mortality Rate improving to 74 from 115 per 1000 live births.

However, the neonatal mortality rate only reduced marginally from 33 to 31 per 1000 live births contributing to 42% of the under five mortality compared to 29% in 2003 (KDHS). Despite renewed focus and recent progress in child survival, achieving the Millennium Development Goal targets in under-five mortality (33/1000) and infant mortality (26/1000) by 2015 will be a challenge unless neonatal care, which is closely linked to maternal care, receives more attention. The maternal care indicators have stagnated with the deliveries by skilled attendants (increased slightly from 40 to 42%) and institutional deliveries (increased slightly from 40.1 to 43%). Skilled birth attendance is vital to protecting the health of newborns as the majority of perinatal deaths occur during labour and delivery or within the first 48 hours after delivery


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