Bharti Airtel, a leading telecommunications services provider with over 300 million customers and operations in 20 countries across Africa and Asia has partnered with Fountain Africa Trust to launch a community midwives program to support expectant women, new mothers and newborns in Bungoma County.
The program that will be launched in June 2015 and it will offer free calling and sms services to 57 midwives and staff from Fountain Africa Trust to enable sharing of information and learning experiences between Bungoma County mothers and the County ministry of health officials as they go on with their program of supporting expectant women, new mothers and newborns.
Airtel will also offer 24 hour free internet connectivity for the Fountain Africa Trust, giving them unlimited access to online information that will help them carry out their program effectively and interact with other midwives across the globe.
In a statement issued on 25th May 2015, Airtel Kenya CEO Adil El Youssefi said that by enabling the midwives to communicate effectively, especially in emergency cases, the company is helping the government attain its Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) 4 and 5.
“Airtel is intensely interested in the health and general wellbeing of pregnant women and infants. We believe that by providing effective communication solutions to the midwives from this group, we will be giving thousands of mothers from Bungoma County a chance to experience the joy of motherhood,” added Mr. El Youssefi.
On her part, Fountain Africa Trust Executive Director, Ms. Alice Natecho, said “Despite significant improvements in maternal and newborn care services in Bungoma County, recent findings from the Kenya Demographic and Health Survey 2014 show that the proportion of deliveries conducted by a skilled provider in the county is 41.4% while the proportion of women who delivered in health facilities is 40.8%.” She added that “Fountain Africa Trust is working closely with the County and sub-County Ministry of Health teams to support community midwives to improve the provision of services such as prenatal care, delivery, postnatal care, family planning as well as referral services among other key roles played by community midwives.”