Review of barriers to maternal and child health services informal settlements in Nairobi

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Review of barriers to maternal and child health services informal settlements in Nairobi

23 March 2016

Prompted by a concern over the low availability of maternal and child health and nutrition services in Nairobi’s informal settlements, Concern Worldwide in collaboration with Nairobi County Government commissioned a report. The aim was to explore the barriers to accessing maternal and child health nutrition services. 

Nairobi, Kenya’s capital city, is becoming rapidly urbanised, with growing health risks due to the growth of unplanned urban informal settlements. These informal settlements are inhabited by informal workers who struggle to earn a living and often leave their children for long hours without proper care. This presents health risks to young children, leaving them vulnerable to malnutrition and other preventable childhood diseases.

The report conducted by Concern with support from UNICEF Kenya, sought to explore the barriers that care givers, face in accessing maternal and child health nutrition services. The research consisted of interviews with county and sub-county Health Management Team members as well as health workers and care givers.

The review found that there are various challenges facing care givers in informal settlements in Nairobi. Firstly, it found that the operating hours of health facilities should be expanded to ensure more accessibility of services for care givers and their children. The review also recommended that community engagement should be increased and that feedback mechanisms should be put in place to improve the responsiveness of service delivery in informal settlements.

In response to the review, Nairobi county government teams committed to engaging with stakeholders to advocate for the health rights of care givers and their children. The will work to guarantee them access to health services without affecting their employment and income.

Download the publication, along with a brief overview, using the links below.

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A nurse with a baby at the Mathare North Health Center in Nairobi.

Review of barriers to maternal and child health services informal settlements in Nairobi

This review looks at the barriers to health services for mothers and children who live in informal settlements in Nairobi. It provides recommendations on how access to maternal and child health services could be improved.