Summit for Dignity 2018: Climbing Mount Aconcagua
In developing countries, complications are common in the late stages of pregnancy, delivery, and the first hours after birth. Every year, one million children die on the same day they are born – mostly from preventable causes.
The reasons are numerous and complex, spanning from individual to systemic factors. Many do not have the money, time, or knowledge they need to care for themselves and their families. In rural areas, health facilities are poorly-equipped, understaffed, or simply do not exist at all. There is a lack of investment in the foundations of strong health systems: infrastructure, human resources, policy, and research. Every country has its own unique challenges, but many are common across the developing world… and often disproportionately affect women and children.
This is why I am climbing Mount Aconcagua….to support Aga Khan Foundation Canada’s work in addressing this issue.
Please join me in raising awareness and donations by clicking on the link below.
We'll continue to bring more details on our goals and initiatives to your attention in the coming weeks.
Kenya © Aga Khan University
Mali © AKF/Lucas Cuerva
Mozambique © AKFC/Rosemary Quipp
Women and Children's Health Issues in Kenya
Kenya is one of the 75 countries that account for more than 95% of the all maternal and child deaths. While important progress has been made over the past decade – the mortality rate for children under five decreased by 30 percent in the last five years to 52 deaths per 1,000 live births; and the maternal mortality rate dropped to 362 deaths per 100,000 live births – these rates remain well above global targets. Furthermore, the neonatal mortality rate remains high with 22 deaths per 1,000 live births. Fifty-six percent of infant deaths occur during the first month of life.
Building on over a century of experience in addressing community health needs in Kenya – Aga Khan Foundation will improve the availability and utilization of essential health services for women, newborns and children under five. The project deliberately targets areas that are remote, underserved and have poorer health indicators than other parts of Kenya.
Ten health facilities will be renovated, nine in Coast Province and one in Kisii. The one in Kisii is one for which I am climbing. The renovations target Maternal Newborn and Child Health needs including improvements to maternity and neonatal wards, infectious waste management systems and water and sanitation systems.
In Kisii, improvements will be made to the Kenyenya sub-county hospital – specifically the renovation and extension of the maternity block and MNCH block, reconstruction of the operating theatre and improvements to water and sanitation at the facility. The current operating theatre at the hospital is non-functional due to substandard construction - as such the hospital is not able to offer the full pack of emergency obstetric and neonatal care, putting the lives of women and children significantly at risk.
The proposed renovations will also significantly improve the service delivery environment for women and their families, ensure there is sufficient space to enable health workers to deliver quality care and considerations for infection control and patient privacy have been taken into account.