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Kenya’s Maternal Shelters Descriptive Essay

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Updated: Jun 24th, 2019

The video highlights the life of Shagaa, a woman living in North Eastern Kenya. She is one of the women accommodated in a maternal shelter in the region. These shelters have been set up so that women who have previously experienced problems in relation to childbirth can be accommodated near a clinic.

This is meant to reduce the risk of their complications escalating as they travel to a facility. The video follows Shagaa as she is taken to a hospital, which is barely 300 meters from the shelter. She undergoes a successful Caesarian section delivery, giving birth to a bouncing baby girl.

However, she develops some complications that require her to receive a blood transfusion. After a few days, she is almost fully healed and can even breastfeed the baby (Sittoni, 2013). The narrator talks about how maternal deaths and infant mortality have been challenges in many parts of the world.

The video also shows a clip of Shagaa’s husband, who has been living with her at the shelter, which he describes as a home away from home. In the facility, which is sponsored partly by UNICEF and the Kenyan government, women are accommodated to protect them from the consequences associated with child delivery.

Her husband also talks about her previous births, which were very complicated and nearly resulted in her death. The article also examines some other success stories, such as that of Hawa Ali, who stayed at the facility for three months before she delivered a baby girl.

The fact that she had had five miscarriages proved that the shelter is indeed helpful. Dakan Billow, a disabled mother and previously unable to deliver successfully at home, also had a successful delivery, after staying in the shelter for three months (Sittoni, 2013).

However, this is just one example of such many initiatives aimed at encouraging women to deliver at health facilities rather than at home. Some of these initiatives extend past the prenatal and birth by providing support for mothers after delivery through immunization as well as increasing exclusive breastfeeding that is promoting the health of a significant number of mothers (Sittoni, 2013).

This is achieved by collaborative actions among the government of Kenya and NGOs. The actions have helped to promote access to clean drinking water and provide protective care from various health conditions, such as diarrhea and malaria, which are some of the main threats to maternal health in the region.

Overall, the issues in the video highlight how maternal health shelters positively impact global health survival rates. From an analytical perspective, this facility embodies the combined effort from the global community to help to resolve the challenges of maternal death and infant mortality.

These are some of the objectives of the Millennium Development Goals (Ronsmans & Graham, 2006). This initiative can also act as an unofficial pilot study for governments and organizations that may want to execute the same solution to maternal health complications.

In the video, one of the women interviewed suggested that the Ministry of Health in Kenya should contribute to the program by supplementing the funds provided by UNICEF and other NGOs. This is an effective model that can be applied by many nations, which encounter the same problem as a result of exposure to similar geopolitical conditions.

In conclusion, this discussion poses the following question: Is enough being done to promote maternal health that would culminate in improved rates of child survival?


Sittoni, P. (2013). In Kenya, maternal shelters are part of a broad package of care designed to reduce child mortality. Web.

Ronsmans, C., & Graham, W. J. (2006). Maternal mortality: who, when, where, and why. The Lancet, 368(9542), 1189-1200.

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IvyPanda. 2019. "Kenya's Maternal Shelters." June 24, 2019. https://ivypanda.com/essays/kenyas-maternal-shelters/.


IvyPanda. (2019) 'Kenya's Maternal Shelters'. 24 June.

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