Pregnant Women's Groups: We're halfway through!


Posted on
09th Mar 2021
by Clare Sulley


We’re now halfway through implementing Pregnant Women’s Groups in Meru, Kenya, funded by our incredible network of supporters and match funded by the UK Government. We wanted to take this time to update you with the progress of the project and the impact that your money is making.

During our Team Mum Appeal between February and April 2019, we raised an amazing £502,952.10, of which £241,452 was matched funding from the UK Government. 

The Pregnant Women’s Groups project kicked off in August 2019 with the aim of reaching 5,700 Mums in rural Kenya, arming them with the support and knowledge they need to keep themselves and their babies safe.

As you can read from previous blogs, we had a challenging first project year due to Covid-19. This didn’t stop us from continuing on with the project and adapting our approach so we could still contact the women through an SMS platform to continue offering support.

Here’s a video of Marti and Cherio in Meru, along with one of our incredible Social Mobilisers talking about the project, and some of the participants who we’ll be introducing you to over the next week.

Throughout the course of the first year, we have carried out exit questionnaires with a sample of women who have graduated from the groups and given birth. Through this data collection and conversations with our participants, we’re continuously learning about women’s understanding and their pregnancy and birth experiences which has enabled us to adapt the project as we implement it, making it stronger and more impactful.

The project has been running for 18 months with a 6 month project set up period, and 12 months of recruiting pregnant women and delivering sessions. So far:

  • The project has supported 2,159 pregnant women through 6 group sessions
  • 207 men have been engaged through sessions to encourage support for pregnant women and provide a space for their questions to be answered
  • The project has given 1363 baby packs to new mums that includes a baby weighing bag, a baby hat, reusable diapers and a traditional cloth called a kanga.
  • 62% of women who have attended the pregnant women’s groups were able to identify 5 or more danger signs to look out for during pregnancy, compared to only 17% at the beginning of the project
  • 77% of mums told us their babies received safe care for their umbilical cord, compared to 67.1% at the beginning of the project - this includes doing nothing to the cord, or applying chlorhexidine spirit. 
  • We've seen increases in the number of deliveries at the two main hospitals in the project area since the start of the project. Kangeta Hospital: 44 births a month at the start of the project, now 77. Nthambiro, 9 births a month at the beginning and now 18.
  • Women have reported that they’ve received increased support from their partners with them helping to care for the baby, accompanying them to the delivery, and providing financial support.
  • The project has made improvements in the two main health facilities such as providing curtains for bed spaces, handwashing stations, sterilisation equipment and waste disposal bins to improve dignity and sanitation.
  • The project has trained 70 health workers in both facilities to provide improved quality of care.
  • The project has referred over 200 women to health facilities to receive further care during their pregnancy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Over the next week, we’ll be sharing some beautiful stories from Meru that highlight the incredible impact of the project so far. Keep an eye on our social media to meet Mary, Precious, Priscilla and Richard.

Your money is already making an incredible impact upon the women that are participating in the groups and the men who are being engaged in community sessions. These results are extremely positive and motivating, and we’re excited to see further progress in the upcoming year. We look forward to updating you again!

Thank you for all of your support.

If you have any questions about the Pregnant Women’s Group project, please get in touch with Clare at clare@child.org.