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  • Postnatal Care Outreach in Kwale – Mariam and Binti’s Story

Binti and Mariam are two sisters living in Kwale county, on the coast of Kenya, where have been working to champion postnatal care and support mothers to better look after themselves and their babies.

Binti and Mariam’s story is tough to hear. A mother of three, Binti suffered from mental illness following sexual abuse and trauma leaving her sister, Mariam, to look after Binti’s children when Binti was unable to. Mariam and her family have been supporting Binti and her children through Binti’s illness.

“During Binti’s third pregnancy, a Community Health Volunteer visited my home and talked me through the Baby Box project at Waa Hospital” recalls Mariam. “She went ahead and referred me to the facility. At first I thought it would be hard for me to be registered under the project considering that my sister was the one who was pregnant but when I went to the facility, they were so kind and they took me in. I attended all the sessions with my sister and they were really patient with us and handled her with understanding of her situation” Mariam explains.

Through the guidance of our trained team, Mariam was directed to the right channels and a doctor who guided her through the process. After tests and examinations, Mariam was advised to do cross-nursing: breastfeeding her sister’s baby. This is a welcome solution as it is more budget-friendly compared to buying formula milk which is very expensive.

“It is because of the Community Health Volunteers and the nurses’ follow-up and encouragement that we attended antenatal care and are now coming for postnatal care. I am glad of their encouragement and support because it is easy to feel exhausted.”

Binti and Mariam’s story is just one of many in Kwale – we recognise there are many gaps in maternal health and particularly mental health awareness among pregnant women; practical support and encouragement have helped Mariam look after Binti’s babies and ensure they are safe and healthy. Thanks to your support for postnatal care initiatives like the Baby Boxes in Kwale, we are ensuring more mums like Binti have access to and are signposted to healthcare to support their babies.


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