Every Newborn Country Consultation: Kenya (15 -16 August, 2013 ¦ Nairobi, Kenya)

15 -16 August ¦ Nairobi, Kenya

A two day every newborn consultation convened by the Kenyan Ministry of Health’s Department of Family health as a special Maternal and Newborn Health(MNH) technical working group took place in Nairobi from 15-16 August. This event brought together 45 participants from various divisions in the Ministry of Health, representatives of UN agencies, donor agencies; professional societies; licencing boards; local and international NGOs, training institutions; health workers from rural and urbal health facilities;  and the media and civil society organisations.

The meeting which was officially opened by Dr Shiphra Kuria, the Deputy Head Division of Reproductive Health and the Program Manager for Maternal and Newborn Health in the Ministry of Health / Department of Family Health, centered around the following specific objectives:

  • To provide a forum for Kenya to identify bottlenecks, challenges and identify solutions and actions to accelerate the scale up of new-born programmes in national plans
  • To review and provide input to the GNAP draft document
  • To contribute to the advocacy movement around global, regional and national new-born action and ensure country-level alignment with other key initiatives and political processes.

A presentation on the Global Strategy for Women and Children’s Health and supporting initiatives was made by Dr Assumpta Muriithi; Medical officer newborn Health WHO AFRO. This presentation served to enlighten the participants on the Every Woman Every Child UN Secretary Generals Global strategy; emphasizing the dyad of the mother and the newborn and reiterating the need for acceleration action in light of  the imminent Millennium Development Goal (MDG) reporting date. Participants were given an overview of the every newborn Plan, including how it fits in at country level and linkages to all other global initiatives. This was followed by a presentation on the importance of Multisectoral and Intersectoral RMNCH strategies given by Dr. Janet Kayita from UNICEF ESARO.

Dr Kuria presented the situation analysis of MNH in Kenya; clearly articulating the linkages between maternal and newborn health outcomes and the gaps in service provision, coverage, health worker competencies, and health systems in general. After the presentation, the participants called for zero tolerance to no change as well as for removal of compartmentalization. They reiterated that everyone has to promote the priority interventions and that reducing maternal mortality rates (MMR) and newborn mortality rates (NMR) is everyone’s job.

During the meeting, the every newborn Bottleneck analysis (BNA) tool was introduced. It was noted that this tool is based on the 3 major killers of newborns which if focused on, will address 75% of newborn mortality.  Participants were also made aware that Tool is divided into 3 main sections:

  1. Section1 on identification of bottlenecks applicable to all newborn interventions
  2. Section2 on identification of interventions to tackle the 3 main newborn killers (these are 9 in total)
  3. Section 3 on Solutions and priority actions to address the bottlenecks

Each section was organized into the 6 Health system building blocks. At the end of every intervention; the participants were to provide an assessment of the country status: – where we are and what amount of improvement is needed.


Findings from a small task  force comprising of DFH, UNICEF and UNFPA that had already worked on section one of the BNA tool were presented for ratification by the stakeholders. Following this, participants were then divided into five groups based on the nine critical newborn interventions outlined in section two of the BNA tool. Effort was made to have both newborn and maternal health persons in each group in order to provide a holistic view.  At the end of the session, groups were invited to report back on their various sections.

The following Divisions and organisations were respresented at the consultation:

The Ministry of Health: Department of Family health; Division of Reproductive Health; Division of Child and adolescent Health; Division of Nursing services; Department of Health promotion; Division of Clinical services, The Chief Midwife Nairobi Province; The Nursing Council of Kenya; the Clinical Officers Council of Kenya; the Midwives society; and health providers from selected health facilities. The United nations H4 agencies were represented by: WHO AFRO and WHI Kenya country office; UNICEF ESARO and UNICEF Kenya Country office; and UNFPA. Other participants were drawn from USAID OPH Kenya; Save the Children Kenya; MCHIP Kenya; Jhpiego Kenya; CHAI; Capacity project- Intrahealth; Micronutrient Initiative; AMREF Headquarters; University of Nairobi department of pediatrics; national Nurses association of Kenya; White Ribbon Alliance Kenya and the Media (Hope; Easy FM).


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