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Support to UNFPA

Kenya recently became a middle-income country, with a general improvement in health outcomes such as infant and under-five mortality declining. However, maternal mortality ratio of 362 per 100.000 live births is amongst the highest in the world. Over 5.500 women die each year due to pregnancy related complications, with 98% of Kenya’s maternal mortality taking place in 15 out of 47 counties. About one in every 19 children born, die before reaching their fifth birthday.

Many young girls are likely to have repeated pregnancies and young married women have the lowest contraceptive prevalence rate. One in five girls report sexual debut before the age of 15, and approximately 18% of Kenyan girls give birh before the age of 18 years, with most of them already married. In addition to this girls and young women are at risk of unwanted pregnancy and HIV infection, with 29% of all new HIV infections taking place in the age of 15-24 years, where girls between 15-19 in a particular risk. The alarming statistics of child marriages, gender based violence, early pregnancies and high maternal deaths reveal the high vulnerability of adolescent girls in Kenya.

The critical condition of sexual and reproductive health in Kenya has to be addressed and Danida is for this reason a part of the H6 initiative started by the United Nations to support implementation of maternal new-born and child health programmes in Kenya. The group is working together on the joint programme Reproductive, Maternal, Newborn, Child and Adolscent Health Programme (2016-2020), towards the reduction of prevent­able maternal, new-born, and child deaths in ten high-burden counties in Kenya. Danida contributes with DKK 40 mio. from the period 2016-2020.

The Kenya Joint Programme on Reproductive, Maternal, Newborn, and Child Health (RMNCAH) brings together the wealth of expertise located within the government and H6 partners. The programme makes use of the lessons learned during the implementation of the first round of the RMNCAH programme, implemented in six high-burden counties (Mandera, Marsabit, Wajir, Isiolo, Lamu, Migori) in Kenya between March 2015 and September 2016, with funding from the Reproductive, Maternal, Newborn, and Child Health (RMNCH) Trust Fund.

The programme aims at supporting the government health facilities working in the area of maternal health and sexual and reproductive health, including family planning, HIV-prevention and Gender Based Violence treatment. This will include an increased focus on adolescent girls and young women, through targeted, evidence-based, girl-centred interventions in multiple sectors. Drivers for early sexual debut, early childbearing and early marriage will be addressed and there will be advocated for keeping young girls in school. The programme will also contribute to strengthening of country capacity for coordination, planning, supervision, monitoring and evaluation for RMNCAH and HIV services. Other support area include integration of RMNCAH into county health sector annual work plans and other multi sector work plans.

Read more about the engagement in the Development Engagement Document:

Development Engagement Document - Support to United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA)