Influence of free maternity healthcare programme on maternal mortality rate in Kenya: a case of Kenyatta National hospital
There is a growing movement, globally and particularly in the Africa region, to reduce financial barriers to health care. Approximately 585,000 women of Reproductive age die each year from pregnancy related causes worldwide according to the World Health Organisation (WHO). The purpose of the study was to examine how free maternity healthcare programme influences maternal mortality rate in Nairobi County, Kenya; a case of Kenyatta National Hospital. The study was guided by the following research objectives: to determine how free antenatal care influences maternal mortality rate in Nairobi County; to establish how free delivery care influences the lives of others in Nairobi County; to assess how free Emergency medical services influences maternal mortality rate in Nairobi County and to identify how free postnatal care influences maternal mortality rate in Nairobi County. The study was linked with the Anderson’s Health Behavior theory. The target population of this study entailed 324 mothers who attend Kenyatta National Hospital (KNH) maternity clinic, 30 nurses ,20 paramedics and 10 doctors at KNH. The sample size was achieved using Krejcie and Morgan Table (1970). A descriptive survey research design shall be adopted for the study. The study focused on collecting primary and secondary data using a structured questionnaire and focus group discussions. Validity of the research instruments was determined by content and construct validity while reliability of the research instruments was determined by internal consistency method. Data collected was analyzed using both qualitative and quantitative approaches. SPSS version 21 was used to analyze the data collected. Non parametric data was analyzed using descriptive statistics such as measures of central tendency, variability and dispersion while parametric data was analyzed through correlation. The key findings of the study revealed that free maternity care has a direct relationship to maternal mortality rate; the rate of deaths due to pregnancy related causes have reduced significantly in Kenya since the introduction of this program. The study recommended that the government should develop both long term and short term strategies in implementing free maternal healthcare services in public hospitals including creating awareness, training staff and adding more services to the program.