AVSI is in the preliminary stage of starting a new two-year programme (1 July 2023 – 30 June 2025) in the interest of mothers and neonates towards reducing preventable maternal and perinatal fatalities in Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda. A three-day kick-off meeting held at the Ruaraka Uhai Neema Hospital in Nairobi, Kenya, from June 26–28, 2023 to inaugurate the programme began with opening remarks by Lorenza Gambacorta, the Deputy Ambassador of the Italian Embassy, who stated: "I am excited about the start of this new programme, which was delayed by COVID-19."
The EUR 5.5 million-programme is funded by the Italian Agency for Development Cooperation (AICS), realized with technical support of Centro di Salute Globale of Tuscany Region, and in partnership with the Ministries of Health of Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda.
With a target of 33 health facilities, the programme will improve overall maternal and child health in the three countries, thus supporting the local health systems in achieving universal health coverage. An estimated 6.2 million people (Kenya: 2.5 million; Tanzania: 1.7 million; and Uganda: 2 million) will indirectly benefit from the highly anticipated programme.
This programme looks at the similarities existing across the three countries in the area of maternal and child health, to share positive experiences to improve the health conditions of mothers and childrenGiovanni Grandi, Director AICS, Nairobi.
The targeted health facilities will benefit through the provision of training to staff, infrastructural interventions, distribution and installation of modern medical equipment and supplies, scale-up of mobile ultrasound services, and improvement of data collection and sharing, subsequently contributing to the achievement of a third Sustainable Development Goal that is to ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages.
Through the activities and services planned for the programme, maternal and child health, emergency and neonatal obstetrics care in the selected health facilities will be enhanced and the capacities, skills, and knowledge of the designated health personnel boosted.
A strategic collaboration among World Friends (with Medicus Mundi Italy, Kilifi Health Department and Pani University) in Kenya; Centro Mondialita' Sviluppo Reciproco (with Doctors for Africa CUAMM and COPE) in Tanzania and AVSI Foundation (with Ambrosoli Foundation, Corti Foundation, Napoli Federico Il University, University of Pavia, Cottolengo Mission Hospital, AMREF Health Africa) in Uganda will contribute to the success of the programme.
I acknowledge the support from AICS to Uganda and the good coordination and synergies among Italian NGOs in Maternal and Child Health. Sharing of good practices as well as failures is critical for learningDr. Timothy Musila, Assistant Commissioner Health Service - Private Sector Coordination, Ministry of Health, Uganda.