Project Isiolo provides a much needed hospital for high risk mothers. The modest centre, located in the centre and at the crossroad of Kenya, is fully equipped and staffed to provide Level 1 obstetrical services. The project also provides emergency transport and communication. The roads in the region are difficult to travel and require a fully equipped 4 X 4 ambulance to get mothers who require life saving services. Satellite phones and radios will link up villages to nursing stations and to the maternity hospital.
MaterCare International provides training courses for TBAs (traditional birth attendants) and midwives to refer high risk mothers to the maternity hospital where they can be monitored by doctors and nurses. These mothers stay in maternity waiting homes located in the hospital compound, these structures are called manyattas.
The cost for the full project over 5 years is almost US$ 5 million. Today, we have raised over US$620 000 from generous donors, women's organizations, a few foundations, the States of Guernsey (Channel Islands), and the Italian Episcopal Conference of Bishops. Government and government aid agencies have not contributed at all. We constantly apply but are constantly rejected. From our visits and from the experience of local TBAs and midwives- there are no services for mothers and they continue to suffer and die. Project Isiolo is a solution to this ongoing neglect.
"It is great to see Project Isiolo expanding. There is a great need to get back out to the village level and provide lifesaving care. The statistics for maternal deaths is extremely high for Kenya with a rate of 790 per 100,000, but I am quite sure that number is much higher as there are no statistics for many villages as there is no care. Villagers are not registered and so they are unknown to the national government and not incorporated into any statistics. We heard several stories of maternal deaths that went unreported, therefore not counted in statistics. The hospital is almost at a point of being self sustainable which would allow us to expand Project Isiolo at the village level as was planned originally with Bishop Locati." Simon Walley, Project Manager, Kenya Report, 2018.
(Photo: St. John Paul II MaterCare Maternity Hospital, Isiolo)