Back to all news
  • Empowering mothers: driving maternal healthcare to rural doorsteps

Team Mum’s Pregnant Women’s Groups (PWGs) empower pregnant women to seek professional services so they receive life-saving care. But what if these services are simply not available? What if a woman must walk 10km, whilst heavily pregnant, to receive basic maternal healthcare? This is the case in many rural communities of Meru County, Kenya.

This is why has collaborated with Meru’s County Health Management Team (CHMT) to launch Team Mum’s mobile clinic. The clinic is run from a van and brings free antenatal care to rural doorsteps.

What’s the problem?

Poor and delayed access to quality healthcare is a primary cause of maternal and neonatal (newborn) death in Kenya.  In many areas of Meru, bad roads, poor infrastructure and service fees are huge barriers preventing a woman from accessing basic healthcare.

Rael, a member of Team Mum’s Pregnant Women’s Groups (PWGs), spoke to the team about these barriers.“Pregnant women here are forced to walk for long distances to reach a health facility. Some use motorbikes which are dangerous due to poor road networks.”

Even if they reach a facility, many women will be unable to afford the service fees, and must return home. These barriers can be fatal.

What is Team Mum’s mobile clinic?

Team Mum’s mobile clinic is a van equipped with the tools necessary to provide overarching, quality care to pregnant women.

Susan Kathomi, County Reproductive Health Coordinator in Meru, explains: has managed to buy those machines: the ultrasound machine, the HP machine, the microscope, the glucometer. We are very happy because those are the essential things and we can take care of our mothers, especially those mothers in hard-to-reach areas.”

What services does the mobile clinic provide?

With its new equipment, the van provides pregnant women with free check-ups, ultrasound scans, tetanus shots and other vaccinations, supplements and referrals. Lack of such services has been significantly associated with newborn mortality rates in Kenya

Dr Naitore, Director of Medical Services in Meru, explains: “ and Team Mum have really supported us to be able to move forward as a county in matters of reproductive health… We are going to see a reduction in maternal infection, and neonatal infection, and at the end of it all we will have better outcomes for our mothers.”

What impact has the clinic had so far?

In under six weeks, almost 400 women have received basic antenatal care services. 300 women have received an ultrasound scan – 76% had never received one in previous pregnancies. In addition, 170 women received vital pregnancy supplements, and 58 a tetanus jab.

Multiple women have discovered they are pregnant with twins. This encouraged them to deliver in hospital instead of at home where they would not have a skilled delivery professional. One woman found out she was already in labour, and was rushed to hospital in time to give birth safely.

These are life-saving differences.

So what now? will continue collaborating with Meru’s CHMT to ensure that more women in rural areas benefit from the mobile clinic and its vital maternal healthcare services. 

Working alongside Team Mum’s PWGs, the mobile clinic will be critical in upholding’s mission that no mother or her baby should die from preventable causes.

Stay up to date with how our collaborative solutions are creating safer communities for women in Kenya.


Copyright 2024. All Rights Reserved