Midwives in Kenya start a new journey

Newly registered specialist association to champion maternal and baby health

Kenya Counties

Members of the Midwives Association of Kenya are located in all parts of the Country, with representation in all the 47 Counties.

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Greetings from the midwives,

The Midwives in Kenya are holding an Annual scientific conference from 10th to 12th August, 2016 at Boma Inn- Eldoret.

This will be the 22nd Midwives annual Scientific conference whereby the inauguration of the newly registered “MIDWIVES ASSOCIATION OF KENYA” (MAK).

The theme of this year’s conference is: Midwives at the Heart of Quality Free Maternity Care Services.

The Sub-themes are as follows:
1. Effective pre-conceptual and pregnancy care;
2. Evidence-Based intra-partum care;
3. Reclaiming the opportunity for postnatal care;
4. Bridging the Gaps in Safe newborn care;
5. Sexual and reproductive health and rights;
6. Midwifery projects, policy, legislation and regulation, and leadership;
7. Emerging issues in Midwifery education, research and innovation.

This will be a rich scholarly conference with presentations from key global, regional and local midwifery leaders and scholars in form of oral presentation, workshops and exhibitions covering important midwifery areas of interest.

We have commissioned and test-launched an online conference management system at http://www.kenyamidwivesconference.org where the secretariat, reviewers and participants will coordinate all the activities of the conference.

A concerted effort of the midwives and stakeholders has contributed to the achievement of the following key health indicators between 2008/9 and 2014, according Kenya Demographic Health Surveys (KDHS, 2014):
• Total fertility rate per woman decreased from 46 – 39%
• Antenatal care uptake increased from 88% – 96%
• Skilled birth attendance increased from 44% – 62%
• Post natal care uptake increased from 42-51%
• Family Planning uptake increased from 46-58%
• Exclusive Breast Feeding increased from 32-61%. Children 20 -23 months still breast feeding at 51%
• Infant mortality rate decreased from 52/1000 live births to 39/1000 live births
• Child mortality rate decreased from 31/1000 live births to 14/1000 live births

NB: 1 in 19 children dying before five years and majority die within the first 24 hours and one week of life.

Revitalization of Midwifery as a profession would further improve access, affordability, acceptability of maternal and newborn, as well family health care for Kenyan communities.

A snap shot of MIDWIVES ASSOCIATION OF KENYA strategic direction with vision and mission are be as follows;-

VISION
Every woman and every newborn to have quality midwifery care

MISSION
• To advocate for midwifery as an autonomous profession
• To strengthen the midwifery profession for quality care
• To promote midwifery as the standard of care for childbearing families

MAK MAIN FUNCTIONS ARE:
1. To promote excellence, innovation and leadership in the care of childbearing women, the newborn and their families ;
2. To strive for the recognition, visibility and value of midwives as a critical member of a healthcare team ;
3. To advocate for policies, global standards, guidelines, competencies and tools for the midwifery profession in Kenya;
4. To provide continuous professional development for midwives in Kenya;
5. To create a network and cohersion of midwives in the country

STRATEGIC GOAL #1 ;To represent midwives
OBJECTIVES:
I. To become an autonomous profession
II. To influence policies
III. To support the development of guidelines

STRATEGIC GOAL #2: To support high quality midwifery practice
Objectives:
I. To promote the highest standards of midwifery education and research
II. To build capacity for midwives
III. To share, recognize and reward best practices

STRATEGIC GOAL #3; To connect midwives
Objectives:
I. To create opportunities for networking
II. To strengthen affiliations
III. To promote collaborations, national and internationally
These objectives will be achieved through annual operation plans for implementation accordingly.

CONCLUSION
It is important that, child bearing families embrace the midwifery care services in the life cycle. This will ensure achievement of the free maternity services goals, the Kenya Vision 2030 and the Sustainable Development Goals related to maternal and newborn health.