Tuesday, August 24, 2021


By Duke Momanyi,
Communications Associate
Gold Star Kenya 

When we visited Chemolingot Sub-county hospital, Cheprai could not hide her smile as she held her baby rocking it lovingly in her arms.

Chepurai a mother of three is a resident a polarized region of Baringo County, which is characterized poor infrastructure, insufficient medical facilities and sporadic attacks from bandits.

She is one of the beneficiaries of high-quality maternal services from the newly revamped modern maternity wings in Baringo County built through funding from Safaricom Foundation.

She says the journey to motherhood hasn’t been easy for her but with the help of Goldstar Kenya and Afya Uzazi Salama program through community health volunteers, she was able attend all required antenatal clinic visits and when it was time to deliver, she opted to deliver in hospital as advised where she had access to skilled birth attendance services.

“My experience with my first two pregnancies wasn’t a nice one. I could not afford to travel to Kabarnet for antenatal checkups.” She says adding; “Now I am happy this hospital has been equipped and we can get the services we need.”

Chepurai breastfeeding her baby in Chemolongot Subcounty hospital. ©Goldstar Kenya Photo/Duke Momanyi.

Chepurai breastfeeding her baby in Chemolongot Subcounty hospital. ©Goldstar Kenya Photo/Duke Momanyi.


Lopakale Irene from Goldstar Kenya helping Chepurai, a mother of a newly born baby in Chemolingot Subcounty hospital. ©Goldstar Kenya Photo/Duke Momanyi.

Initially most women in Baringo especially ones from far flanked areas had to endure all sorts of challenges in their journey to motherhood. Delivering at home with the help of traditional birth attendants posed a great health risk to both the mother and the child.

In its bid to promote maternal and child health in Kenya Safaricom foundation set aside over 80 million shillings to strengthen maternal health care system in Baringo County.

The new maternity wings in Chemolingot subcounty and Kabarnet referral hospitals have offered relief to women and mothers in the county who had had to endure long distances in search of specialized delivery services.

Safaricom Foundatio trustee Ms. Rita Okudhe during the opening of newly completed one-stop maternity wing in Chemolingot, Baringo County ©Goldstar Kenya Photo/Peter Charo.

Through the help of Safaricom Foundation, the maternity wings now boost of having modern delivery beds, Neonatal Intensive Care Incubators, theatre lights, modern weighing scales among others. Mothers who deliver in hospitals also get incentives in form of mama packs.

Neonatal Intensive Care Incubator an infant incubator that offers the risk-free and most stable environment for the critical neonate. ©Goldstar Kenya Photo/Duke Momanyi. 

Dr. Chebet demonstrating the use of theatre lights in Chemolingot hospital. ©Goldstar Kenya Photo/Duke Momanyi.

“Through Afya Uzazi Salama Project we are have managed to increase demand creation and mobilization for maternal and neonatal health services.” Says Irene Lopakale, Community Health Strategist.

The project has employed various interventions to upscale uptake of various MNH services. These interventions include working with reformed traditional birth attendants and community health volunteers. TBAs and CHVs identify, link and accompany expectant mothers to health care facilities for skilled birth attendance.

The project works in synergy with TBAs now famously known as Mama Hodari and CHVs to create awareness on the importance of maternal, and child nutrition, ANC, exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months and family planning for mothers and women.